Police Act


Published: 2000

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CAP. 138 POLICE ACT BELIZE

POLICE ACT

CHAPTER 138

REVISED EDITION 2000

SHOWING THE LAW AS AT 31ST DECEMBER, 2000

This is a revised edition of the law, prepared by the Law Revision Commissioner

under the authority of the Law Revision Act, Chapter 3 of the Laws of Belize,

Revised Edition 1980 - 1990.

This edition contains a consolidation of the following laws- Page

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS 3

POLICE ACT 8

Amendments in force as at 31st December, 2000.

BELIZE

POLICE ACT

CHAPTER 138

REVISED EDITION 2000

SHOWING THE LAW AS AT 31ST DECEMBER, 2000

This is a revised edition of the law, prepared by the Law Revision Commissioner

under the authority of the Law Revision Act, Chapter 3 of the Laws of Belize,

Revised Edition 1980 - 1990.

This edition contains a consolidation of the following laws- Page

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS 3

POLICE ACT 8

Amendments in force as at 31st December, 2000.

THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000

Printed by the Government Printer,

No. 1 Power Lane,

Belmopan, by the authority of

the Government of Belize.

Police [CAP. 138

[ ]

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CHAPTER 138

POLICE

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

PART I

Constitution and Administration

3. Appointments.

4. Establishment of Police Department and functions of police.

5. Employment of police in time of emergency.

6. Declaration on enlistment.

7. Commissioner to make rules.

8. Powers of Commissioner as to suspension.

9. Powers of Commissioner as to discharge.

10. Powers of Commissioner as to punishment.

11. Police officer not to engage in other employment.

12. Regulations.

13. Tenure of office by officers of the Department.

14. Police officer not to resign without permission.

15. Arms, accoutrements, etc., to be delivered up on ceasing to belong

to the Department.

PART II

Powers, Duties and Privileges of Police Officers

16. Members of Department to have all powers of constables.

17. Right of superior officer, etc., of Police Department to prosecute

Police cases.

18. Bail by Police.

19. Power to take photographs, etc.

20. Duties.

21. Notice of action or prosecution.

22. Protection: members of Department acting in pursuance of a

warrant.

23. Power to delegate duty imposed on Commissioner to another

officer.

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PART III

Discipline

24. Offences against discipline.

25. Appeals to Belize Advisory Council.

26. Forfeiture of pay, etc.

27. Interdiction pending inquiry.

28. Procedure in case of grave offence.

29. Dismissal and reduction in rank of police officers convicted.

30. Fines to be recovered by stoppage from pay.

31. Powers of members of Department to terminate on dismissal or

withdrawal.

32. Loss or damage to arms, accoutrements, etc., to be made good by

stoppage of pay.

PART IV

Welfare Fund

33. Police Welfare Fund.

PART V

Police Association

34. Police Association.

35. Canteen.

PART VI

Provisions for Additional Police Officers

36. Commissioner may appoint special constable.

37. Police Reserve.

PART VII

General Offences and Penalties

38. Penalty for assaulting or impeding Police.

39. Unlawful possession of arms, etc., supplied to police officers.

40. Penalty on persons causing disaffection.

PART VIII

Powers to Arrest in Relation to Offences

41. Officer of police may board and inspect shipping.

42. Arrest without warrant.

43. Searching licensed places.

44. Arrest, stopping, searching, etc.

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45. Police officer may stop removal of furniture between 8.00 p.m. and

6:00 a.m.

46. Horses, vehicles, etc., arrested to be cared for.

47. Person arrested without warrant, how to be dealt with.

PART IX

Miscellaneous

48. Free medical treatment.

49. Exhibits in criminal cases.

50. Property to be delivered to the Police.

51. Exhibits to be returned to owners.

52. Unclaimed exhibits dealt with as lost or abandoned property.

53. Power to make regulations.

54. Forfeited vehicles to be placed at the disposal of the Police.

SCHEDULE

CHAPTER 138

POLICE

[31st March, 1951]

1. This Act may be cited as the Police Act.

2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires:-

“Commissioner” means Commissioner of Police appointed under section 3;

“Department” means the Police Department established under section 4;

“Minister” means the Minister responsible for the Department;

“non-commissioned officer” means a police officer of the rank of sergeant

or corporal;

“police constable” or “constable” means a police officer under the rank of

corporal and also means detective police constable or detective constable;

“police officer” means a member of the Department;

“prints” shall include finger print, thumb print, palm print and sole print

impressions;

Ch. 59,

R.L., 1958.

CAP. 109,

R.E., 1980-1990.

23 of 1958.

13 of 1963.

40 of 1963.

3 of 1966.

10 of 1971.

14 of 1982.

25 of 1984.

22 of 1987.

26 of 1992.

19 of 1994.

9 of 1995.

42 of 1999.

Short title.

Interpretation.

23 of 1958.

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“superior officer” means any police officer of or above the rank of inspector.

PART I

Constitution and Administration

3.-(1) The Governor-General may appoint a Commissioner of Police who,

subject to the Governor-General’s orders, shall have the command and

superintendency of the Police Department in Belize, and a sufficient number

of superior officers, non-commissioned officers and constables and may,

from time to time, fill up by fresh appointments all vacancies owing to

removal, death, absence, incapability or other cause.

(2) The Governor-General may authorise the Commissioner of

Police at any time to enrol fit men as non-commissioned officers or

constables and to delegate all or any of his executive powers to some other

police officer.

(3) Under subsection (2) every delegation or enrolment so

authorised and made shall be an appointment under this Act.

4. There shall be established a Police Department to be known as the

Belize Police Department, which shall be employed for the prevention and

detection of crime, the apprehension of offenders, the preservation of law

and order, the protection of property and the due enforcement of all laws,

regulations, rules and orders with which it is charged, and, for the

performance of such duties, police officers may carry arms.

5.-(1) Subject to subsection (2), the Governor-General may, in case of war

or other emergency, employ the Department, or any part thereof, to serve

with Her Majesty’s armed forces or otherwise, in the defence of Belize.

(2) Any part of the Department so employed shall remain under

23 of 1958.

10 of 1971.

19 of 1994.

Appointments.

42 of 1999.

Establishment of

Police

Department and

functions of

police.

42 of 1999.

Employment of

police in time of

emergency.

42 of 1999.

42 of 1999.

the command of the Commissioner or such other police officer as the

Commissioner may appoint for the purpose.

(3) When called upon to serve with Her Majesty’s armed forces,

the Department, or such part thereof as may be so employed, shall be

subject to military law.

6.-(1) Every police officer shall, on joining the Department, make the

following declaration, in such manner as he may declare to be most binding

on his conscience:

“I, A.B., do solemnly and sincerely declare that I will be faithful and

bear true allegiance to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second,

Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully serve Her Majesty

the Queen, Her Heirs and Successors, during my service in the

Department and will obey all orders of the Governor-General and of

the officers placed over me, and will subject myself to all Acts,

Orders and Regulations, from time to time in force, relating to the

Department.”

Declared at ....................................................................

Affirmed

this.......................day of .........................................................

20........................

Before me ..............................................................

(Signature of magistrate or superior officer.)

(2) Such declaration shall be made before the magistrate or

superior officer and shall be signed by the police officer.

7. The Commissioner shall, from time to time, subject to the approval

of the Minister, make such rules and regulations as he thinks expedient for

members of the Department, including:-

42 of 1999.

Declaration on

enlistment.

42 of 1999.

42 of 1999.

}

Commissioner to

make rules.

42 of 1999.

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(a) the general government of members of the Department,

their distribution and inspection;

(b) the description of clothing, arms, accoutrements and

other necessaries to be furnished to them;

(c) their attendance in barracks,

(d) the mode in which they are to perform their duties;

(e) the service required of them, and their conduct in the

performance thereof;

(f) their discipline and rank; and

(g) their promotion or reduction from one rank to another.

8.-(1) The Commissioner may at any time suspend from employment any

assistant inspector, sergeant, corporal or constable belonging to the

Department whom he may think remiss or negligent in the discharge of his

duty or otherwise unfit for the same.

(2) The Commissioner shall thereupon notify the fact, with the

cause of such suspension to the Public Services Commission and the Minister

for information, and, when any man shall be so suspended, all powers vested

in him as constable shall immediately cease and shall remain in abeyance

during the period of such suspension.

9. A constable may, be discharged at any time, if, in the opinion of the

Commissioner, he is unlikely to become or has ceased to be an efficient

constable.

Powers of

Commissioner as

to suspension.

42 of 1999.

Powers of

Commissioner as

to discharge.

10. Every superior officer of the Department shall be ex officio a justice

of the peace for Belize, and the Commissioner, or the superior officer

delegated by him for the purposes, shall, subject as expressed in this

section, have and possess power and jurisdiction to hear and determine all

charges against any non-commissioned officer, or constable of the

Department for the offences set forth in section 24.

(2) The Commissioner or the superior officer delegated by him

for the purpose shall have the power to punish all offenders as provided in

section 24, and shall have all the powers of bringing such offenders before

them, and of summoning and enforcing the attendance of witnesses and of

examining them upon oath or affirmation in respect of offences which they

are authorised to investigate under this Act or under any rule made or

continued in force thereunder respectively, as are possessed by the

magistrates of Belize.

(3) Any person wilfully and corruptly giving false evidence before

the Commissioner or any such superior officer shall be deemed guilty of

perjury.

11. No police officer shall, without the consent of the Commissioner,

engage in any other employment or office.

12.-(1) The Governor-General may make regulations relating to-

(a) the numerical establishment of the Department, the

conditions of enlistment and service and the various

grades, ranks and appointments therein; and

(b) the pay and allowances of members of the Department.

(2) All such regulations shall be laid on the table of both Houses

of the National Assembly for negative resolution.

Powers of

Commissioner as

to punishment.

42 of 1999.

42 of 1999.

Police officer not

to engage in other

employment.

Regulations.

42 of 1999.

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13. The Commissioner and superior officers shall be appointed, and may

be suspended or dismissed, in accordance with the regulations for the time

being in force with regard to other public officers in Belize.

14. No non-commissioned officer or constable may resign from the

Department unless expressly authorised in writing to do so by the

Commissioner.

15.-(1) When a member of the Department ceases to belong to the

Department he shall before leaving deliver up to the person appointed by the

Commissioner for that purpose or to the officer in charge of police at the

place at which he was last stationed all arms, ammunition, accoutrements,

uniform and other appointments which have been supplied to him and which

are the property of the government.

(2) Any member of the Department failing to deliver up any such

property as required by this section shall be liable on summary conviction to

a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty dollars or to imprisonment for any

period not exceeding six months, and in addition may be liable to pay the

value of the property not delivered up which value shall be ascertained by a

magistrate and shall be recoverable as a fine.

(3) The court may issue a warrant to search for and seize all such

property which have not been so delivered up.

PART II

Powers, Duties and Privileges of Police Officers

16. After making and signing the declaration as set out in section 6 every

police officer shall so long as he continues as a member of the Department

have all the powers, authorities, privileges, protection and advantages and be

liable to all such duties and responsibilities as any officer or constable duly

appointed now has or is subject or liable to or may hereafter have or be

Tenure of office

by officers of the

Department.

Police officer not

to resign without

permission.

42 of 1999.

Arms,

accoutrements,

etc., to be

delivered up on

ceasing to

belong to the

Department.

42 of 1999.

42 of 1999.

Members of

Department to

have powers of

constables.

42 of 1999.

subject to or liable to either by the common law of England or by virtue of

any law which now is or may hereafter be in force in Belize.

17. Where any information has been laid, or complaint or arrest made,

by any police officer, it shall be lawful for the Commissioner or any superior

officer, sergeant or corporal of the Department, if of opinion that such

information was laid, or that such complaint or arrest was made, by such

police officer in the performance of his duty as a police officer, to appear on

behalf of such police officer before any magistrate at any proceedings

consequent upon such information, complaint or arrest, and, on behalf of

such police officer, to conduct the information, complaint or charge, and

examine and cross-examine witnesses in the same manner as if such

information had been laid, or such complaint or arrest had been made, by

such Commissioner, superior officer, sergeant or corporal.

18.-(1) It shall be lawful for any superior officer or any non-commissioned

officer or constable in charge of a Police Station, when any person is in

custody without warrant for any offence punishable upon summary

conviction, to take bail for the appearance of such person before the nearest

court of summary jurisdiction at a day, time and place to be named in the

recognisance.

(2) If any such officer, non-commissioned officer or constable

declines or refuses to take bail for any such person as aforesaid and such

person so requires it shall be the duty of such officer, non-commissioned

officer or constable forthwith to take or cause to be taken such person

before the magistrate conveniently near for the purpose of having such

person dealt with according to law.

19.-(1) It shall be lawful for the competent police authority to take or cause

to be taken and to record for the purposes of identification the

measurements, weight, photographs, and prints of all persons who may from

time to time be in lawful custody.

Right of superior

officer, etc., of

Police Department

to prosecute

Police cases.

42 of 1999.

Bail by Police.

Power to take

photographs, etc.

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(2) If such measurements, weight, photographs and prints are

taken of a person who has not previously been convicted of any criminal

offence and such person is discharged or acquitted by a court, all records

relating to such measurements, weight, photographs (both negatives and

copies) and prints shall be immediately destroyed or handed over to such

person.

(3) Every competent police authority may take such action as the

proper and efficient execution of the provisions of this section may

reasonably require.

(4) For the purposes of this section the competent police authority

shall be any non-commissioned officer of the Department authorised by the

Commissioner or any commissioned officer of such Department.

20.-(1) The duties of the Department shall be-

(a) to preserve the peace, detect crimes, apprehend and

summon before a magistrate persons found committing,

or whom they may reasonably suspect of having

committed any offence, or who are charged with having

committed any offence, to execute all summonses,

warrants, subpoenas, notices and criminal processes

issued from any court of criminal jurisdiction, or by any

magistrate in a criminal matter or by a coroner and to do

and perform all duties appertaining to the office of

constable or imposed upon constables by the law of

Belize;

(b) to perform such duties in connection with the repression

of crime, guarding of prisoners, prevention of offences

against the revenue, the preservation of order at the

sittings of any court, and the execution of any process

thereof, as may be required of them by any law, or

42 of 1999.

Duties.

42 of 1999.

under any regulations made under this Act, or as may

be specially ordered by the Minister or the Governor-

General;

(c) to repress internal disturbances and defend Belize

against external aggression.

(2) Every police officer shall be deemed to be on duty at all times

and may at any time be detailed for duty in any part of Belize.

21.-(1) No action shall be commenced or prosecution instituted against any

police officer in respect of anything done or purporting to have been done

by him under the provisions of this Act, unless notice in writing of such

action or prosecution, and particulars thereof, has been given to such police

officer, and to the officer in charge of the Department in the place where the

act complained of was committed and to the Attorney General, at least one

month before the commencement of such action or the institution of such

prosecution;

(2) Subsection(1) above shall not apply to any prosecution

instituted against any member of the Police Department by or on behalf of

the Director of Public Prosecutions or the Commissioner of Police.

22. When any action is brought against any police officer, for any act

done in obedience to the warrant of any magistrate, he shall not be

responsible for any irregularity in its issue or form, or for any want of

jurisdiction of the magistrate issuing the same, but may plead the general

issue, and give the warrant in evidence at the trial, and on proving that the

signature is in the handwriting of the person whose name appears

subscribed thereto, and that he was reputed to be and acted as magistrate,

there shall be a verdict for the defendant.

Notice of action

or prosecution.

42 of 1999.

Protection:

members of

Department acting

in pursuance of a

warrant.

26 of 1992.

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23. Where any duty is imposed by any Act on the Commissioner, chief

officer or head officer of Police, such duty shall be performed by the chief

officer of Police at present in Belize unless the Minister orders that such duty

be performed by some other officer.

PART III

Discipline

24.-(1) Every assistant inspector of police and non-commissioned officer or

constable of the Department who-

(a) begins, excites, causes or joins in any mutiny or sedition

amongst any members of the Department, or who

conspires with any other person to cause any such

mutiny or sedition, or who does not use his utmost

endeavours to suppress any such mutiny or sedition, or

being cognisant of any such mutiny or sedition, does not,

without delay, give information thereof to his superior

officer;

(b) persuades or endeavours to persuade, procures or

attempts to procure, or assists any police officer to

desert, or being cognisant of any such desertion or

intended desertion does not, without delay, give

information thereof to his superior police officer;

(c) uses traitorous or disloyal words regarding Her Majesty;

(d) is disrespectful in word or act, to any magistrate or his

superior officer;

(e) wilfully disobeys or refuses, fails or neglects to obey any

lawful command;

Power to

delegate duty

imposed on

Commissioner to

another officer.

Offences against

discipline.

(f) is found sleeping on duty, or leaves his post or beat

before he is regularly relieved without lawful excuse;

(g) drinks intoxicating liquor when on duty for which he has

been specially detailed;

(h) is found to be intoxicated on or when called for duty, or

is found frequenting liquor shops when on duty except

in the discharge of such duty;

(i) strikes or assaults any other member of the

Department;

(j) permits a prisoner to escape or fails to take prompt

steps for the arrest of an offender;

(k) parades for duty dirty or untidy in his person, arms,

clothing or equipment;

(l) absents himself without leave;

(m) wilfully makes any false statements, entries or returns

pertaining to the activities of the Department;

(n) without proper authority, discloses or conveys any

information concerning any investigation or other police

or departmental matter;

(o) is slovenly, inattentive or uncivil when on duty;

(p) accepts or solicits a bribe or gratuity;

(q) malingers or feigns or wilfully causes any disease or

42 of 1999.

42 of 1999.

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infirmity;

(r) without reasonable cause fails to appear at any parade

appointed by his superior officer, at which he is required

to attend;

(s) is neglectful in carrying out an enquiry, investigation or

duty;

(t) engages without authority in any other employment or

office;

(u) offers or uses unwarrantable personal violence to or ill-

treats any person in his custody;

(v) enters or remains in a public or private house without

reasonable cause whilst on duty;

(w) makes a false accusation against any member of the

public or of the Department knowing such accusation to

be false;

(x) incurs a debt and fails to pay within a period of one

month thereof unless otherwise required or permitted by

the creditor;

(y) suffers serious pecuniary embarrassment;

(z) makes any false statement upon joining the Department;

(aa) is guilty of cowardice;

(bb) carries, keeps, uses, or discharges any firearm,

ammunition or other weapon without the authority of

42 of 1999.

9 of 1995.

42 of 1999.

the Commissioner or without just cause, or is negligent

in the use of firearms or other weapons;

(cc) pawns, sells, loses by neglect, makes away with,

wilfully or by neglect damages, or fails to report any

damage to any arm, ammunition, accoutrement,

uniform or other article supplied to him, or any

property committed to his charge;

(dd) becomes surety for any person or engages in any loan

transaction with any police officer without the

permission in writing of the Commissioner;

(ee) being under arrest or in confinement leaves or escapes

from his arrest or confinement before he is set at liberty

by proper authority;

(ff) if called upon by the Commissioner to furnish a full and

true statement of his financial position, fails to do so;

(gg) is guilty of any act, conduct, disorder or neglect which

is declared by regulations made under this Act to be an

offence against duty or discipline; or

(hh) is guilty of any act, conduct, disorder or neglect to the

prejudice of good order and discipline, not specified in

this subsection,

shall be deemed to have committed an offence against discipline and may on

conviction thereof by the Commissioner, or, in his absence, by an officer of

the Department deputed by him, be punished for such offence.

(2) The assistant inspector, non-commissioned officer or

constable so convicted may be punished by any one or any combination of

9 of 1995.

42 of 1999.

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not more than two of the following punishments, namely-

(a) caution, reprimand or severe reprimand;

(b) fine not exceeding two hundred dollars;

(c) reduction of rank or grade;

(d) extra duties for a period not exceeding twenty-eight

days;

(e) confinement to barracks for a period not exceeding

twenty-eight days, such confinement to involve the

performance of ordinary duties as well as fatigue duties;

(f) stoppage of increments;

(g) subject to section 26, forfeiture of pay for a period not

exceeding one month;

(h) surcharge for damage to property or award of

compensation in favour of the injured party;

(i) dismissal.

(3) Every delegation under this section shall be in writing under the

hand of the Commissioner and shall be revocable, and may be either general

or special, as the Commissioner thinks fit.

(4) No such delegation shall be made to any member of the

Department below the grade of a superior officer.

(5) All sentences inflicted by any officer delegated by the

Commissioner, shall be submitted to, and be subject to the approval of, the

9 of 1995.

42 of 1999.

Commissioner, who may, subject to subsection (6) below, confirm or remit

the whole or any part thereof, or may enhance it, or may substitute any

other sentence which is authorised to be inflicted by this section.

(6) It shall be the duty of the officer submitting such sentence to

the Commissioner to attach to his report of the case the evidence, which

shall be taken on oath, and also any statement which the accused may

desire to make in his defence but in every case where the sentence awarded

by the officer is a sentence of dismissal or reduction in rank or grade, the

Commissioner shall, before confirming such sentence, seek the advice of

the Solicitor General.

(7) The requirement of seeking the advice of the Solicitor

General specified in subsection (6) above shall also apply where the

Commissioner himself is conducting the disciplinary proceedings and intends

to award a sentence of dismissal or reduction in rank or grade.

(8) The Commissioner or the officer deputed by him shall, while

conducting disciplinary proceedings under this section, follow any

regulations made by the Minister in that behalf under section 53 and, in the

absence of such regulations, comply with the rules of natural justice.

25.-(1) Where the sentence as awarded, confirmed, reduced or altered

under the provisions of section 24 is a sentence of dismissal or reduction in

rank or grade, the officer in respect of whom the decision is made may,

within twenty-one days of the communication of the decision to him, appeal

to the Belize Advisory Council against such decision.

(2) Where an appeal is filed with the Belize Advisory Council

pursuant to subsection (1) above, the Secretary of the Council shall

immediately inform the Commissioner of such appeal.

(3) Upon an appeal under this section the Belize Advisory

Council may affirm or set aside the decision appealed against or may make

Appeals to Belize

Advisory Council.

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any other decision which the Commissioner could have made.

26. Any assistant inspector of police or non-commissioned officer or

constable who has been sentenced to imprisonment, or who is absent without

leave shall forfeit all right to pay during the period of imprisonment or

absence, and all fines or penalties imposed upon any such assistant inspector

of police or non-commissioned officer or constable for any offences under

this Act or for the breach of any rules made thereunder, may be enforced by

deducting the amount from any pay due or which may become due to the

assistant inspector of police or non-commissioned officer or constable so

fined.

27.-(1) The Commissioner may interdict from duty any assistant inspector of

police or non-commissioned officer or constable, pending any inquiry into the

conduct of any such assistant inspector of police or non-commissioned

officer or constable, under the provisions of the Colonial Regulations, of this

Act or any rules made thereunder, but such assistant inspector of police or

non-commissioned officer or constable shall not, by reason of such

interdiction, cease to be a member of the Department:

Provided that the powers, privileges and benefits vested in him as a

police officer or constable shall, during his interdiction, be in abeyance, but

he shall continue to be subject to the same responsibilities, discipline and

penalties, and to the same authority as if he had not been interdicted.

(2) Immediately after such interdiction the Commissioner shall

notify the fact, with the cause of such interdiction, to the Minister for

information.

(3) An assistant inspector of police or a non-commissioned officer

or constable who is interdicted from duty shall be allowed to receive such

proportion of his pay not being less than half as the Commissioner thinks fit.

(4) On the termination of any period of interdiction from duty of

Forfeiture of pay,

etc.

Interdiction

pending inquiry.

19 of 1994.

19 of 1994.

42 of 1999.

19 of 1994.

19 of 1994.

an assistant inspector of police or a non-commissioned officer or constable

the Commissioner may if he thinks fit direct the whole or any part of the pay

stopped under this section to be paid to such assistant inspector of police or

non-commissioned officer or constable.

(5) If the assistant inspector of police or non-commissioned

officer or constable has been acquitted of the charges laid against him all

arrears of pay and allowances withheld during such interdiction shall be paid

to him.

28.-(1) In every case where it appears to the Commissioner that the offence

the accused has committed cannot be adequately punished with any of the

punishments provided in section 24 he may order that the accused be taken

before a magistrate to be dealt with as provided in subsection (3).

(2) Where money is seized and forfeited as a result of police

investigation, the Minister may by Order transfer an amount not exceeding

one-third of such money to the credit of the Police Welfare Fund.

(3) Where an accused person is taken before a magistrate under

this section he shall be liable on summary conviction of any offence

mentioned in section 24 to a fine not exceeding three months pay or to

imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or to both such fine and

term of imprisonment.

(4) No proceedings shall be taken against any police officer

under this section in respect of any offence for which he has already been

punished under any of the preceding sections.

29. The Commissioner may reduce in rank or dismiss from the

Department any assistant inspector of police or non-commissioned officer

or constable after conviction by any court in respect of any offence whether

under this Act or otherwise, unless such member of the Department has

successfully appealed from such conviction.

19 of 1994.

19 of 1994.

Procedure in case

of grave offence.

9 of 1995.

Dismissal and

reduction in rank

of police officers

convicted.

42 of 1999.

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30.-(1) Subject to subsection (2), all fines imposed on a member of the

Department for an offence under this Act or any rule or regulation made

thereunder shall be recovered by stoppage from the offender’s pay due, or to

become due, to such offender.

(2) In the case of an offender who has been dismissed from the

Department, the amount of such stoppage from any one pay shall not exceed

one-half of such pay of the offender.

31. If any person appointed to the Department is dismissed or ceases to

belong thereto, all powers and authorities vested in him shall immediately

cease and determine.

32. If any assistant inspector of police or non-commissioned officer or

constable pawns, sells, loses by neglect, makes away with or wilfully or

negligently damages any arm, ammunition, accoutrement, uniform or other

article supplied to him or any property committed to his charge, he may, in

addition to or in lieu of any other punishment, be ordered to make good the

amount of such loss or damage, and such amount may be recovered by

deduction from his pay.

PART IV

Welfare Fund

33.-(1) All fines imposed on a member of the Department under the provi-

sions of the Police Ordinance, 1938, or this Act or any rules or regulations

made thereunder for any offence against discipline shall be paid into the

Treasury to be placed to the credit of a fund to be called the “Police Welfare

Fund”.

Fines to be

recovered by

stoppage from

pay.

42 of 1999.

Powers of

members of

Department to

terminate on

dismissal or

withdrawal.

42 of 1999.

Loss or damage

to arms,

accoutrements,

etc., to be made

good by

stoppage of pay.

Police Welfare

Fund.

42 of 1999.

(2) No payment shall be made from the Police Welfare Fund

except upon the authority of the Commissioner.

(3) The Commissioner may in his discretion, sanction payments

from the Police Welfare Fund for any of the following purposes-

(a) assistance to the wives or families of deceased

members of the Department of or below the rank of

assistant inspector or to any such members discharged

from the Department as medically unfit for further

service;

(b) assistance to serving members of the Department of or

below the rank of assistant inspector to enable them to

obtain medical attention outside of Belize when such

attention cannot be obtained in Belize;

(c) contributions towards prizes to be given at athletic

meetings, assault at arms and similar events organised

by or for the benefit of the Department;

(d) purchase of ammunition for the encouragement of range

practice among members of the Department;

(e) payments to members of the Department as rewards

for meritorious acts or service in the execution of duty,

if such payments are not met from Government Funds;

(f) expenditure for the benefit and advancement of

authorised recreation and sport and other branches of

police activity organised within the Department;

(g) any other purpose not specified in this section which

9 of 1995.

42 of 1999.

42 of 1999.

42 of 1999.

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the Commissioner considers to be for the general

welfare of the Department.

(4) The payments from the Fund in any one year shall not exceed

the sum of four thousand dollars without the prior approval of the

Minister.

(5) The money standing to the credit of the Fund may from time to

time be invested in the names of such persons and in such manner as may

from time to time be directed by the Minister and the money and the interest

and money and dividends thereof, if any, may be applied from time to time by

order of the Commissioner to the purposes to which the Fund is

appropriated by this section.

PART V

Police Association

34.-(1) For the purpose of enabling the members of the Department to

consider and bring to the notice of the Commissioner and the Government all

the matters affecting their welfare and efficiency, other than questions of

discipline and promotion affecting individuals, there may be established, in

accordance with such rules as the Commissioner may, with the approval of

the Public Services Commission, make, an organisation to be called the

Police Association, which shall be conducted as provided in those rules.

(2) The Police Association shall be entirely independent of and

unassociated with any body or person outside the police service.

(3) Subject to subsections (1) and (2), it shall not be lawful for a

member of the Department to become a member of any trade union, or any

association having for its objects, or one of its objects, to control or influence

the pay, pensions, or conditions of service of the Police Department, and any

member of the Department who contravenes this provision shall be

Police

Association.

disqualified from continuing to be a member of the Department, and, if any

member of the Department continues to act as such after becoming so

disqualified, he shall forfeit all pension rights and be disqualified from being

thereafter employed in the Department, but where a man was a member of

a trade union before becoming a constable, he may, with the consent of the

Commissioner, continue to be a member of that union during the time of his

service in the Department.

(4) If any question arises whether any body is a trade union or an

association to which subsection (3) applies, it shall be determined by a

magistrate.

35.-(1) It shall be lawful to establish in Belize City and in each district a

Police Canteen.

(2) The Commissioner of Police may with the approval of the

Minister make rules in regard to the hours during which such canteen shall

be kept open on each day and for the proper management and control of

the canteen.

PART VI

Provisions for Additional Police Officers

36.-(1) The Commissioner may appoint in writing under his hand any one or

more special constable or constables who shall on appointment take the

oaths as set forth in the Schedule to this Act.

(2) Notice of such appointment and of the cause thereof shall

without delay be transmitted by the Commissioner to the Permanent

Secretary for the information of the Public Services Commission, Minister

and Governor-General who may revoke the same.

(3) Every special constable shall have all the powers of a

Canteen.

Commissioner

may appoint

special constable.

13 of 1963.

Schedule.

42 of 1999.

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member of the Department as by law now or hereafter to be established and

shall be subject to the orders of the Commissioner.

37.-(1) The Commissioner may, with the authority of the Governor-General,

establish a Reserve Police Department which shall be known as the Police

Reserve.

(2) Every member of the Police Reserve shall be deemed to be a

police officer during the period when he is called out for service.

(3) The Governor-General may make regulations relating to the

formation and conditions of service of such Police Reserve.

PART VII

General Offences and Penalties

38.-(1) Any person who-

(a) assaults, resists or obstructs; or

(b) uses any abusive or insulting language to; or

(c) aids or incites any person to assault, resist or obstuct,

any member of the Department or a special constable appointed under

section 36 in the execution of his duty or any person acting in aid of any such

member of the Department, shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine

not exceeding one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not

exceeding twelve months, or in the discretion of the magistrate he may be

committed for trial to the Supreme Court.

(2) In the case of assault, the offender shall be liable to payment of

any sum awarded to the member of the Department assaulted, by way of

Police Reserve.

Penalty for

assaulting or

impeding Police.

42 of 1999.

9 of 1995.

42 of 1999.

42 of 1999.

compensation for injuries to his person, clothing, necessaries or equipment.

39. Any person-

(a) who, not being a member of the Department, has in his

possession any arms, ammunition, clothing,

accoutrements or other appointments furnished for the

use of members of the Department, and cannot

satisfactorily account for his possession thereof;

(b) who knowingly purchases or obtains, or solicits or

entices any member of the Department to sell or

dispose of, any arms, ammunition, clothing or other

articles of public property or any article provided for

the vehicles of the Department,

shall on conviction before a magistrate be liable to a fine not exceeding one

thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve

months.

40. Any person who-

(a) causes or attempts to cause, or does any act calculated

to cause, disaffection among the members of the

Department; or

(b) induces or attempts to induce, or does any act

calculated to induce any member of the Department to

withhold his services or to commit breaches of

discipline,

shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and shall be liable on conviction on

indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or on

summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months,

Unlawful

possession of

arms, etc.,

supplied to police

officers.

42 of 1999.

Penalty on

persons causing

disaffection.

42 of 1999.

42 of 1999.

42 of 1999.

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or to a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars, or to both such fine and term

of imprisonment.

PART VIII

Powers to Arrest in Relation to Offences

41. Every officer of police shall have power, by virtue of his office, at all

times to enter with such constables as he thinks necessary, as well by night as

by day, into and upon every vessel (not being then actually employed in Her

Majesty’s service) lying in any port, harbour, bay or creek of Belize, and into

every part of every such vessel, for the purpose of-

(a) inspecting, and upon occasions directing the conduct of

any constable who may be stationed on board of, any

such vessel;

(b) inspecting and observing the conduct of all other persons

employed on board of any such vessel in or about the

loading or unloading thereof as the case may be;

(c) taking all such measures as may be necessary, for

providing against fire or other accidents;

(d) preserving peace and good order on board of any such

vessel; and

(e) effectually preventing and detecting any fclony or

misdemeanour.

42.-(1) It shall be lawful for any police officer, and for all persons whom he

may call to his assistance, to apprehend without warrant in the following

cases-

Officer of police

may board and

inspect shipping.

Arrest withou

warrant.

(a) any person found drunk or who is disorderly in any

street or public place at any hour of the day or night;

(b) any idle and disorderly person whom he finds between

sunset and six in the morning lying or loitering in any

street or other public place, and not giving a

satisfactory account of himself, or whom he has good

cause to suspect of having committed, or being about

to commit any felony, misdemeanour or breach of the

peace;

(c) any person whose name and residence are unknown to

and cannot be ascertained by, such officer, within

whose view such person commits any summary

jurisdiction offence;

(d) any person accused by any other person with

committing any aggravated assault, in any case in which

such police officer has good reason to believe such

assault has been committed, although not within his

view, and that by reason of the recent commission of

the offence a warrant could not have been obtained for

the apprehension of the person accused;

(e) every person who commits any of the offences

mentioned in section 3 (1) and paragraphs (iv), (ix),

(x), (xi), (xii), (xv), (xvi), (xviii), (xix), xxviii) and

(xxx) to (xxxii) inclusive of section 4 (1) of the

Summary Jurisdiction (Offences) Act.

(2) The power of arrest without warrant conferred upon a police

officer under paragraph (e) shall unless the contrary is expressly provided

by any statute be exercised only where the offence is committed within view

of the officer.

CAP. 98.

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(3) Any person within whose view any of the offences mentioned

in paragraph (e) of subsection (1) is committed may apprehend the other

person who commits the same, and forthwith take and convey him before a

magistrate for the purpose of having him dealt with according to law or he

may deliver that person over to any police officer or other peace officer to be

taken and conveyed before a magistrate for the like purpose.

(4) Every police officer or other peace officer who refuses or

wilfully neglects to take any such person in his custody or to take and convey

him before a magistrate shall be guilty of an offence and on summary

conviction thereof be liable to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty

dollars.

43. It shall be lawful for any police officer, and for all persons whom he

may call to his assistance, to enter into any house licensed for the sale by

retail of fermented or,spirituous liquors, and to search therein for offenders

and otherwise perform their duty, using as little annoyance to the inmates

thereof as possible.

44.-(1) Every person found committing any offence punishable either upon

indictment in the Supreme Court, or as a petty misdemeanour upon summary

conviction-

(a) may be taken into custody without a warrant by any

police officer and by any persons whom he may call to

his assistance; or

(b) may be apprehended by the owner of the property on or

with respect to which the offence is committed, or by his

servant or any person authorised by him, and may be

detained until he can be delivered into the custody of a

police officer to be dealt with according to law.

Searching

licensed places.

Arrest, stopping,

searching, etc.

(2) Any police officer may also stop, search and detain-

(a) any conveyance in or upon which there is reason to

suspect that anything stolen or unlawfully obtained may

be found, and

(b) any person who may be reasonably suspected of having

or conveying in any manner anything stolen or

unlawfully obtained.

(3) Any person to whom any property is offered to be sold,

pawned or delivered, if he has reasonable cause to suspect that any such

offence has been committed with respect to such property, or that the

property or any part of it has been stolen or otherwise unlawfully obtained,

is hereby authorised, and if in his power is required, to apprehend and

detain, and, as soon as may be, to deliver such offender into the custody of

a police officer together with such property, to be dealt with according to

law.

45. It shall be lawful for any police officer to stop and detain, until due

inquiry can be made, any person whom, and any vehicle which, he finds

employed in removing the furniture of any house or lodging between the

hours of eight in the evening and six in the following morning or whenever

the police officer has good ground to believe that such removal is being

made for the purpose of evading the payment of rent.

46.-(1) Whenever any person having charge of a horse or any other animal,

vehicle, boat or thing is taken into the custody of a police officer under the

provisions of any Act, any police officer may take charge of the horse or

other animal, boat or thing and deposit it in some safe place of custody as a

security for payment of any penalty to which the person having charge

thereof may become liable, and for payment of any expenses which may

have been necessarily incurred for taking charge of and keeping such things.

Police officer may

stop removal of

furniture between

8:00 pm and 6:00

am.

Horses, vehicles,

etc., arrested to be

cared of.

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(2) Any magistrate before whom the case is heard may, upon

conviction of such person, order such horse or other animal, vehicle, boat or

thing to be sold for the purpose of satisfying such penalty and reasonable

expenses in default of payment thereof, in like manner as if they had been

subject to be distrained and had been distrained for the payment of such

penalty and reasonable expenses.

47. Every person taken into custody by a police officer without warrant

shall be forthwith delivered to the officer in charge of the nearest police

station, in order that such person may be secured until he can be brought

before a magistrate to be dealt with according to law, or may give bail for his

appearance before a magistrate, if the officer in charge deems it prudent to

take bail.

PART IX

Miscellaneous

48. Non-commissioned officers and constables shall be entitled to free

medical treatment (including dental treatment) at Government Hospitals and,

if admitted to hospital, shall not be charged for maintenance.

49. It shall be the duty of the Police to take charge of all property which

has been made an exhibit in any criminal case.

50. At the conclusion of the hearing of the case or matter with regard to

which property has been made an exhibit, the Registrar, or, in cases in the

summary jurisdiction courts, the clerk of court, may deliver such exhibits to

an officer or non-commissioned officer who is in attendance at the court and

thereafter the property shall be deemed to be in the custody of the Police.

51. The police officer in charge of any such property shall on demand,

unless otherwise ordered by a judge or magistrate, deliver all exhibits to the

owners thereof upon the latter giving a receipt therefor and such receipt shall

Person arrested

without warrant,

how to be dealt

with.

Free medical

treatment.

Exhibit in

criminal cases.

Property to be

delivered to the

Police.

Exhibits to be

returned to

owners.

be kept for twelve months and may then be destroyed.

52.-(1) Should any such exhibits not be claimed within two weeks of the

hearing, it shall be the duty of the Police to deal with them in all respects, as

if they were lost and abandoned property found under the provisions of the

Lost and Abandoned Property Act.

(2) The owner thereof shall be in all respects in the same position

as, and shall have in relation thereto only the rights of, an owner of lost and

abandoned property under the provisions of the Lost and Abandoned

Property Act.

53.-(1) The Minister may make regulations for the better carrying out of the

intents and purposes of this Act.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of

subsection (1), the Minister may make regulations in respect of the following

matters-

(a) fixing the fees to be charged by the Police for reports

or copies of statements or other documents supplied by

them to members of the public;

(b) the award of certificates, medals, honours and other

recognigtions to deserving members of the Department

or other persons acting in aid of the Department;

(c) the procedure to be followed for conducting

disciplinary proceedings against members of the

Department.

Unclaimed

exhibits dealt with

as lost or

abandoned

property.

CAP. 335.

CAP. 335.

Power to make

regulations.

13 of 1963.

25 of 1984.

9 of 1995.

42 of 1999.

42 of 1999.

42 of 1999.

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54. Where a vehicle is seized and forfeited as a result of police

investigation, it shall be placed at the disposal of the Commissioner for police

work unless otherwise directed by the Minister.

Forfeited

vehicles to be

placed at the

disposal of the

Police.

9 of 1995.

SCHEDULE

[Section 36]

Oath of allegiance

“I do

swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen

Elizabeth II, Her heirs and successors, according to law.

So Help me God.”

Oath of office

“I do

swear that I will well and truly serve Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the

office of

So Help me God.”

Sworn before me this day of

20

Justice of the Peace.

Related Laws

1952 Police Act