CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC ORDER ACT 1994 (England)
Under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, an officer who is an inspector (or higher rank) can authorise orders under section 60 and section 60AA. These give different powers to police officers (as described below). The orders can only be authorised for a specified period of up to 24 hours and for a specified place and must be made in writing and signed by the officer authorising them.
For “section 60” search power, see tab above.
Section 60AA of the act gives officers the power to direct a person to remove any item that the officer believes they are wearing in order to conceal their identity. It is not against the law to wear masks, scarves, etc. even if you are attempting to hide who you are, it is just against the law to refuse to remove them/hand them over if required to do so by an officer while this order is in place.
Orders are often made to cover large demonstrations and some hunt saboteurs have found that entire counties (and neighbouring counties) have been covered by section 60AA orders when police suspect that hunt sabs will be present in an area. Police forces like to use these powers whenever they can get them authorised, especially surrounding large events, protests and in “trouble” areas of cities.
Section 60AA – Powers to require removal of disguises.
(a)an authorisation under section 60 is for the time being in force in relation to any locality for any period, or
(b)an authorisation under subsection (3) that the powers conferred by subsection (2) shall be exercisable at any place in a locality is in force for any period,
those powers shall be exercisable at any place in that locality at any time in that period.
(2)This subsection confers power on any constable in uniform—
(a)to require any person to remove any item which the constable reasonably believes that person is wearing wholly or mainly for the purpose of concealing his identity;
(b)to seize any item which the constable reasonably believes any person intends to wear wholly or mainly for that purpose.
(3)If a police officer of or above the rank of inspector reasonably believes—
(a)that activities may take place in any locality in his police area that are likely (if they take place) to involve the commission of offences, and
(b)that it is expedient, in order to prevent or control the activities, to give an authorisation under this subsection,
he may give an authorisation that the powers conferred by this section shall be exercisable at any place within that locality for a specified period not exceeding twenty-four hours.
(4)If it appears to an officer of or above the rank of superintendent that it is expedient to do so, having regard to offences which—
(a)have been committed in connection with the activities in respect of which the authorisation was given, or
(b)are reasonably suspected to have been so committed,
he may direct that the authorisation shall continue in force for a further twenty-four hours.
(5)If an inspector gives an authorisation under subsection , he must, as soon as it is practicable to do so, cause an officer of or above the rank of superintendent to be informed.
(6)Any authorisation under this section—
(a)shall be in writing and signed by the officer giving it; and
(i)the grounds on which it is given;
(ii)the locality in which the powers conferred by this section are exercisable;
(iii)the period during which those powers are exercisable;
and a direction under subsection (4) shall also be given in writing or, where that is not practicable, recorded in writing as soon as it is practicable to do so.
(7)A person who fails to remove an item worn by him when required to do so by a constable in the exercise of his power under this section shall be liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month or to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale or both.
(8)The preceding provisions of this section, so far as they relate to an authorisation by a member of the British Transport Police Force (including one who for the time being has the same powers and privileges as a member of a police force for a police area), shall have effect as if references to a locality or to a locality in his police area were references to any locality in or in the vicinity of any policed premises, or to the whole or any part of any such premises.
(9)In this section “policed premises” each has the same meaning as in section 60.
(10)The powers conferred by this section are in addition to, and not in derogation of, any power otherwise conferred.
(11)This section does not extend to Scotland.