Under The Traffic Signs (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations and General Directions 2011, which became effective on 30 January 2012, Traffic Officers are also exempt from certain requirements in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions, and so are motorists when acting under the direction of a traffic officer.
Traffic Management Act 2004
Officers must follow the directions of a police constable, and to exercise their powers, must be on duty and in uniform.
a traffic officer may:
Assaulting, resisting or willfully obstructing an officer are offences. It is also an offence to impersonate an officer, or for an officer to claim they enjoy more powers than they do. HA traffic officers do not have any powers of detention; to search, issue fixed penalties or report for summons for any motoring offence. HATO traffic officers are not exempt from any traffic laws and must at all times comply with the posted speed limits and red traffic lights, except those for which they are exempt from.
Drivers are obliged by the Traffic Management Act 2004 to comply with the directions given by officers. This is briefly explained in the Highway Code:
You MUST then pull over and stop as soon as it is safe to do so. Then switch off your engine. It is an offence not to comply with their directions.
óRule 108, Highway Code
Starting in 2009, Traffic Officers now have the powers to directly arrange recovery of abandoned, broken down or damaged vehicles. Previously this facility was arranged through the respective local Police forces but, in accordance with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) transfer of responsibilities, the Highways Agency gained the relevant powers in 2008. The use of recovery powers will be in accordance with strict guidance and instructions.
In October 2008, FMG Support were appointed as the Highways Agency's National Vehicle Recovery Manager (NVRM). The NVRM will act as the Highways Agency's liaison with the recovery operators, who will be appointed to recovery vehicles as instructed.
The powers to allow Traffic Officers to remove vehicles are detailed in "The Removal and Disposal of Vehicles (Traffic Officers) (England) Regulations 2008"
In circumstances where motorists cannot make suitable private arrangements, Traffic Officers will be able to offer motorists a "facilitated recovery". The NVRM is appointed to arrange recovery of the motorists vehicle. Motorists have two hours to make suitable arrangements. Under Section 99 of the Road Traffic Act 1984, if this time lapses a "statutory removal" can be invoked. Vehicles that are in a dangerous location or causing an obstruction - can also be statutorily removed under Section 99, regardless of how long the vehicle has been in situ. The NVRM will undertake the arrangement of any recovery. There are strict controls about the use of statutory removals.
(Control Centre Operator)
|Team Manager||Operations Manager||Regional Operations Manager|
|From Aug 2009|
|Pre Aug 2009|
Can I make a citizen's arrest?
Arrests can be made by people other than the police but should be approached with caution as legally it is a tricky area and potentially dangerous. The police do not actively encourage people to make citizen's arrests and the circumstances of the arrest can be examined in detail if the case goes to court. There is more legal information concerning citizen's arrests on a website called K-Zone set up by a final-year law student.
The right to make a citizen's arrest comes under section 3(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1967 which says:
"A person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances in the prevention of crime, or in effecting or assisting in the lawful arrest of offenders or suspected offenders or of persons unlawfully at large."
The crime must be an 'indictable offence', i.e. a serious offence which could be tried in a crown court.
Another way to think of indictable offences is as crimes that can result in long prison sentences.
Examples of indictable offences are theft, burglary, murder, robbery, malicious wounding, dangerous driving and criminal damage. So, drink-driving would not qualify as it is an offence which would be tried in a magistrates court and only result in a maximum sentence of six months.
If you have made an arrest using 'reasonable force' but the arrest is later judged to be unlawful then criminal charges can be brought against you. If you seriously injure the person being arrested then they can bring criminal charges against you regardless of the outcome of the arrest.
As soon as you have made an arrest you must alert the police. Then you must either hand the arrested person over to a policeman in the street or take them to a police station as soon as possible.
However, the most important thing to consider when deciding whether to make a citizen's arrest is your own safety. If you are in any doubt then you should not put yourself at risk. READ MORE ON CITIZEN ARREST