Citizens Advice Bureau


Wrongful or unlawful arrest in Jersey

Extent: Jersey
Updated 18 November 2013


1. States of Jersey or Honorary Police Officers may only arrest individuals if certain conditions are satisfied and if these conditions are not satisfied then the arrest may be considered unlawful. However, it is important to realise that a police officer has a certain amount of discretion in deciding whether or not to carry out an arrest and this should not be confused with his legal power to do so.

Powers of Arrest in Jersey

2. Under The Police Force (Jersey) Law 1974

'Where a police officer with reasonable cause suspects that any person committed, is committing or is about to commit, an offence he may arrest that person'

A police officer for these purposes includes a member of the Honorary Police in addition to a member of the States of Jersey Police Force.

3. Port Control Officers, i.e. members of the Port Control Unit, have the following powers of arrest:


  • If a person whom he suspects with reasonable cause:


    1. has committed, or
    2. is committing, or
    3. is about to commit,

an offence, refuses, on being so required:


  1. to give his name and address, or
  2. gives a name and address which the officer believes to be false, or
  3. tries to abscond,

then the officer may arrest him and must immediately inform a member of the Force and the Airport Commandant or the Harbour Master as the case may be.


  • He may arrest a person whom he suspects with reasonable cause to:


    1. has committed, or
    2. is committing, or
    3. is about to commit,

a 'serious offence'. A serious offence is defined as: 'an offence for which the sentence is fixed by law or for which a person, not previously convicted, may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment'.

4. However, in relation to the Honorary and States police officers' power to arrest, there is no distinction between arrestable and non-arrestable offences.