Powers of Entry

Home Department written question – answered on 22nd October 2008.

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Photo of John Baron John Baron Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department

(1) what categories of public official may enter a private residence without the permission of the (a) owner and (b) occupier (i) with and (ii) without advance notice; and under what circumstances such entry may lawfully be made;

(2) which categories of public official may (a) enter a place of business and (b) call a halt to (i) trading and (ii) production (A) with and (B) without advance notice; and what the circumstances are in which such actions may lawfully be taken in each case.

Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Minister of State (Home Office) (Policing, Crime & Security)

holding answer 6 October 2008

Powers of entry with or without warrant by definition do not require the consent of the owner or occupier of the premises. The list of powers of entry to all premises is contained on the Powers of Entry Review webpage at:

http://police.homeoffice.gov.uk/operationalpolicing/powerspacecodes/powersofentryreview/.

The content of the list are currently subject to verification with other Government Departments and investigating agencies. Specific powers where prior notice is required are set out in the following table.

The ability to require a cessation to operating functions is an enforcement power. Such enforcement action would not be conditional on the exercise of a power of entry. The list sets out statute which provides for cessation and which also contains a power of entry.

Primary legislation
Statute Power Who may enter Other powers
Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 s.44: Powers of fire-fighters in an emergency. Employee of fire and rescue authority in writing May restrict access of persons to premises or place.
Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 s.20: Powers of Inspectors. Inspectors appointed under the Act Comprehensive list of powers of examination/investigation which includes power to direct that premises or parts are left undisturbed for as long as reasonably necessary to complete the examination.
Housing Act 2004 s.40 Emergency Remedial action. Local housing authority May take emergency remedial action.
Sch. 3, para. 3: Entry by local housing authorities to take action regarding improvement Notices without agreement. Local housing authority Person authorised in writing by local housing authority may take action in relation to hazard
Secondary legislation
Statutory instrument (year/number) Power Who may enter Other powers
Avian Influenza and Influenza of Avian Origin in Mammals (England) (No 2) Order 2006 [2006/2702] Art 72(2): Entry to decide whether to grant/ maintain licence to move anything. Inspector or person authorised by SoS Article 82—general powers of inspectors when performing functions under this Order includes cleansing and disinfecting etc.
Enzootic Bovine Leukosis (England) Order 2000 [20002056] Art 10(3): Entry where notice served under (1) for purposes of cleansing and disinfection. Veterinary Inspector May cause to carry out cleansing disinfection -may recover expenses from person in default.
Enzootic Bovine Leukosis (Wales) Order 2006 [2006/867] Art 11(3): Entry where notice served under (1) for purposes of cleansing and disinfection. Veterinary Inspector May cause to carry out cleansing disinfection -may recover expenses from person in default.
Importation of Animal Pathogens Order 1980 [1980/212] Art 6(5): Entry by inspectors where notice served under para (3) regarding cleansing and disinfecting not complied with. Veterinary Inspector May cause to carry out cleansing disinfection.
Marketing of Fruit Plant Material Regulations 1995 [1995/2653] Reg 12(1): Entry to ascertain whether a contravention of these regulations. Inspector May serve notice on supplier of failure to comply with regulation 5(a) and require not to move/ market plant material until reasonable measures specified in notice carried out.
Marketing of Ornamental Plant Propagating Material Regulations 1999(1999/180] Reg 13(1): Entry to ascertain whether a contravention of these regulations. Inspector May serve notice on supplier of failure to comply with these regulations and require not to move/ market propagating material until such reasonable measures specified in notice carried out.
Marketing of Vegetable Plant Material Regulations 1995 [1995/2652] Reg 11 (1): Entry to ascertain whether a contravention of these regulations.. Inspector May serve notice on supplier of failure to comply with regulation 5(a) and require not to move/ market plant material until such reasonable measures specified in notice are carried out.
Animals and Animal Products (Examination for Residues and Maximum Residue Limits) Regulations 1997 [1997/1729] Reg 16: Entry following failure to comply with notice served under these regulations. Veterinary Inspector May take or cause to be taken such necessary steps to ensure compliance with requirements of notice. Costs may be recoverable.
Gas Safety (Rights of Entry) Regulations 1996 [1996/2535] Reg 4 (1): Entry by gas transporter to deal with gas escapes of gas conveyed by the transporter. Officer authorised by transporter Carry out work necessary to prevent the escape of gas and take any other steps to avert danger to life or property.
Reg 5: Power to enter premises for purposes of inspection, testing, disconnection etc. Officer authorised by the relevant authority If necessary to avert danger to life or property, disconnect and seal off any gas fitting or any part of the gas system, or disconnect the premises, or if not connected, signify refusal to convey gas to premises etc.
Gas Safety (Management) Regulations 1996 [1996/551] Reg 7 (4) and (5): Entry to relevant place by person conveying gas when carrying out duty to prevent gas escaping. Person conveying gas Take all steps necessary to avert clanger to persons from entry of gas.
Submarine Pipe-lines (Inspectors etc) Regulations 1977 [1977/835] Art3(1)(b): Entry to premises for purposes of inspecting pipe-lines. Inspector appointed by SoS If risk of Sch. 1 occurrence (concern actual or potential danger etc.) require remedial/preventative action, shut down if serious risk.

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