CHAPTER 13:01
POLICE

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

   SECTION

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

PART II
CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE MALAWI POLICE SERVICE

   3.   The Malawi Police Service

   4.   General functions of the Police Service

   5.   Constitution of the Police Service

   6.   Order of precedence, command and seniority among officers

   7.   General powers of the Inspector General

   8.   Police standing orders

   9.   High Command of the Police Service

   10.   Delegation by Inspector General

   11.   Administration of the Police Service

   12.   Officer in-charge of police to keep prescribed books and to be responsible for stores

PART III
POLICE SERVICE COMMISSION

   13.   Functions

   14.   Powers

   15.   Privilege of members

   16.   Enforcement of attendance, etc.

   17.   Failure to appear or to produce documents before the Commission

   18.   Improper disclosure

   19.   Improper influence and false information

   20.   Secretary and staff

   21.   Meetings of the Police Service Commission

   22.   Decisions of the Police Service Commission

   23.   Dissent

   24.   Minutes

   25.   Attendance expenses and allowances

   26.   Commission to hear Inspector General

   27.   Irregular representation

   28.   Oath of office

   29.   Character of Police Service as part of public service

   30.   Regulations in relation to the powers and functions of the Police Service Commission

PART IV
APPOINTMENT AND TERMINATION OF APPOINTMENT OF POLICE OFFICERS

   31.   Appointment of police officers

   32.   Arms and accouterments to be delivered up on ceasing to belong to the Police Service

   33.   Police officers not to engage in other employment

PART V
POWERS, DUTIES AND PRIVILEGES OF POLICE OFFICERS

   34.   General powers and duties of police officers

   35.   Search by police officers

   36.   Power to take measurements, photographs, footprints and casts thereof

   37.   Power to lay information

   38.   No fee to be chargeable on bail bonds taken by police

   39.   Power of police officers to inspect licences, permits and other authorizations, and to inspect vehicles

   40.   Duty to keep order on public roads

   41.   Road barriers

   42.   Prohibition or restriction of traffic

   43.   Imposition of curfews

   44.   Power to use firearms

   45.   Power to seize weapons

   46.   Attendance of witnesses

   47.   Disposal of unclaimed property

   48.   Non-liability for act done under authority of warrant

   49.   Notice of action or prosecution against a police officer

   50.   Salary, benefits, etc., of a police officer not to be attached for money

PART VI
DISCIPLINE

   51.   Disciplinary Code of Conduct—offences by police officers triable by criminal courts

   52.   Disciplinary Code of Conduct—offences against discipline by police officer

   53.   Exercise of disciplinary power over police officers

   54.   Methods of dealing with offences against discipline

   55.   Establishment of disciplinary committees

   56.   Functions, composition and procedure of the National Police Disciplinary Committee .

   57.   Functions, composition and procedure of a subordinate police disciplinary committee

   58.   Independence of police disciplinary committees

   59.   Power to summon and examine witnesses and to adjourn inquiry

   60.   Punishments for offences against discipline

   61.   Summary dealing in certain cases

   62.   Suspended punishment

   63.   Appeals from a police disciplinary committee

   64.   Decisions of the National Police Disciplinary Committee and the Police Service Commission on appeal

   65.   Appeals to the High Court

   66.   Power of arrest and remand for offences

   67.   Criminal proceedings to take precedence over disciplinary proceedings

   68.   Power of interdiction

   69.   Dismissal of a police officer convicted of a criminal offence

   70.   Pay not to accrue during absence without leave or imprisonment

   71.   Fines to be recovered by stoppage of pay

   72.   Damage to or loss of equipment

   73.   Pension rights lost by dismissal

   74.   Membership of trade union prohibited

   75.   Mode of complaint by a police officer

   76.   Evidence to prove a disciplinary charge to be presented by police prosecutors

   77.   Jurisdiction of ordinary courts not affected

PART VII
POLICE REWARDS AND FINES FUND

   78.   Establishment of Police Rewards and Fines Fund

   79.   Rewards to police officers as informers payable to the Fund

PART VIII
MALAWI POLICE RESERVE

   80.   Establishment of Police Reserve

   81.   Engagement and declaration

   82.   Inspector General to have command

   83.   Calling-up

   84.   Annual training

   85.   Disciplinary powers over pay of reserve members on calling-up and training

   86.   Annual retainer

   87.   Discharge

   88.   Uniforms, equipment, arras, etc.

   89.   Notification of change of address

   90.   General offences

   91.   Discharge on conviction

PART IX
REGULATION OF ASSEMBLIES AND DEMONSTRATIONS

   92.   Interpretation

   93.   Appointment of conveners, and authorized persons

   94.   Functions and duties of a convener

   95.   Functions and duties of a District Commissioner or persons authorized by him

   96.   Notice of assembly or demonstration

   97.   Information regarding a proposed assembly or demonstration of which notice has not been given

   98.   Consultations, negotiations and amendments of notices

   99.   Refusal of, and conditions regarding, an assembly or a demonstration

   100.   Procedure on postponement or cancellation of an assembly or demonstration

   101.   Prevention and prohibition of an assembly or a demonstration

   102.   Review and appeals

   103.   Assembly or demonstration and assembly in the vicinity of Parliament, State Residences and courts

   104.   Conduct of assemblies and demonstrations, and appointment of marshals

   105.   Powers of a police officer in relation to assemblies and demonstrations

   106.   Liability for damage arising from assemblies and demonstrations

   107.   Prohibition of weapons at assemblies and demonstrations

   108.   General offence for contravening this Part

   109.   General punishment for offences against this Part

   110.   Spontaneous assembly or demonstration

   111.   Regulations in relation to assemblies and demonstrations

PART X
PUBLIC ORDER AT FOOTBALL MATCHES

   112.   Application of this Part

   113.   Disorderly conduct at football matches

   114.   Use of force to disperse disorderly crowds at football matches

   115.   Football clubs to appoint marshals

   116.   Role of national body responsible for football administration

   117.   Liability of football clubs for actions of supporters and players

   118.   Extension to other designated sporting events

PART XI
COMMUNITY POLICING

   119.   Objects of community policing

   120.   Establishment of community police forums

   121.   Membership of a community police forum

   122.   Functions of a community police forum

   123.   Discharge on conviction

PART XII
LAY VISITORS TO POLICE STATION

   124.   Establishment and objectives of the scheme of lay visitors

   125.   Appointment

   126.   Disqualification

   127.   Guidelines for lay visitors

PART XIII
INDEPENDENT POLICE COMPLAINTS COMMISSION

   128.   Establishment of the Independent Complaints Commission

   129.   Functions of the Commission

   130.   Powers of the Commission

   131.   Independence of the Commission

   132.   Composition of the Commission

   133.   The Independent Complaints Commissioner

   134.   Removal of the Independent Complaints Commissioner

   135.   Functions of the Independent Complaints Commissioner

   136.   Other personnel of the Commission

   137.   Terms and conditions of service

   138.   Funds of the Commission

   139.   Accounts

   140.   Offences of obstructing officers of the Commission

   141.   Immunities and privileges

   142.   Identity document

   143.   Disclosure of information an offence

   144.   Operational instructions

   145.   Officer in-charge of police to report deaths or injury in police custody or action

   146.   Annual Reports

   147.   Powers, etc., under any other written law

   148.   Regulations in relation to the Commission

PART XIV
MISCELLANEOUS

   149.   Power to prosecute under other law not to be affected

   150.   Harbouring on licensed premises police officers while on duty

   151.   Unlawful possession of articles supplied to police officers

   152.   Persons causing disaffection, etc.

   153.   Disorderly conduct in courts, police stations, etc.

   154.   Being found upon police premises without lawful authority

   155.   Regulations and rules

      Schedule

26 of 1946
9 of 1947
21 of 1953
29 of 1953
33 of 1954
6 of 1957
37 of 1958
14 of 1962
37 of 1967
1 of 1969
30 of 1969
23 of 1970
4 of 1981
12 of 2010
G.N. 22/1963
16/1964 (M)
137/1966
166/1967
10/2010

POLICE

An Act to provide for the organization, administration and the general powers, duties and functions of the Malawi Police Service; to make provision for the functioning of the Police Service Commission and for the recruitment, appointment, promotion and discipline of police officers; to establish an Independent Complaints Commission as a specialized body to receive and hear complaints by the public against police officers and make recommendations thereon; to make provision for the regulation of public order in relation to public assemblies, processions and demonstrations and at football matches; to make provision for community policing; to provide for a lay visitors scheme to enable lay persons in the community make inspection visits to police stations to check conditions of persons there detained; and further to provide for connected and ancillary matters

[1ST AUGUST 2010]

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Police Act.

2.   Interpretation

   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

   “assistant commissioner” includes a senior assistant commissioner of police;

   “Code” or “Disciplinary Code” means the Disciplinary Code of Conduct established by section 52 and set out in the Schedule;

   “community police forum” means a community policing forum established under Part XI, and includes any sub-forum thereof;

   “criminal offence”, in relation to matters of disciplinary control of police officers, means any offence, tribal by a court of criminal jurisdiction prescribed under any written law, including this Act;

   “Inspector General” means the Inspector General of Police appointed under section 154 of the Constitution;

   “Independent Complaints Commission” means the body established under Part XIII;

   “Independent Complaints Commissioner” means the public officer appointed under section 132;

   “junior rank” means the rank of a police officer of or below sub-inspector, and “junior police officer” shall be construed accordingly;

   “lay visitors scheme” means the lay visitors scheme established under Part XII;

   “National Police Disciplinary Committee” means the National Police Disciplinary Committee established under section 55;

   “offence against discipline” means a disciplinary offence prescribed in the Code of Conduct or otherwise prescribed in this Act;

   “officer in-charge of police” means a police officer appointed by the Inspector General to be in-charge of the police stationed in any area;

   “the Police”, “the Police Service” or “the Service” means the Malawi Police Service established under Chapter XV of the Constitution;

   “police disciplinary committee” includes the National Police Disciplinary Committee and a subordinate police disciplinary committee;

   “police officer” means any member of the Police Service;

   “Police Reserve” means the Malawi Police Service Reserve established under Part VIII;

   “Police Rewards and Fines Fund” means the fund established under Part VII;

   “Police Service Commission” means the body by that name established under section 155 of the Constitution and provided for under Part III of this Act;

   “police station” means any place appointed by the Inspector General to be a police station and, where appropriate, includes the police formation constituting the national headquarters or a regional headquarters of the Police;

   “public place” or “place of public resort” includes any premises or place to which, at the material time, the public have, or are permitted to have, access, whether upon a payment or otherwise;

   “region” means any part of Malawi designated under section 11 to constitute a region for the purposes of the administration of the Police Service;

   “senior rank” means the rank of a police officer of or above inspector, and “senior police officer” shall be construed accordingly;

   “service”, in relation to service in the Malawi Police Service, does not include service as a member or an officer of the Police Service Commission or the Independent Complaints Commission or as a member of a community police forum or as a lay visitor under the lay visitors scheme, except for a police officer who is a member thereof;

   “subordinate police disciplinary committee” means a police disciplinary committee established under section 55, subordinate to the National Police Disciplinary Committee;

   “superintendent” includes a senior superintendent and an assistant superintendent;

   “superior police officer” means any police officer of or above the rank of assistant superintendent;

PART II
CONSTITUTION AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE MALAWI POLICE SERVICE

3.   The Malawi Police Service

   The Malawi Police Service established under Chapter XV of the Constitution shall operate and function in accordance with the provisions of this Act, in addition to the provisions of that Chapter.

4.   General functions of the Police Service

   (1) The Police Service shall be employed in and throughout Malawi for—

   (a)   the prevention, investigation and detection of crime;

   (b)   the apprehension and prosecution of offenders;

   (c)   the preservation of law and order;

   (d)   the protection of life, property, fundamental freedoms and rights of individuals;

   (e)   the due enforcement of all laws with which the Police are directly charged;

   (f)   the exercise or performance of such other powers, functions and duties as are conferred on the Police by or under this Act or any other written law or as may by law be exercised, performed or otherwise discharged by the Police.

   (2) For the performance of any of the functions under subsection (1), the Police shall be entitled to carry and to use arms, but shall so use such arms only as authorized by this Act or by any other law.

5.   Constitution of the Plice Service

   The Police Service shall comprise the Inspector General, any Deputy Inspector General, Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, Senior Assistant Commissioners, Assistant Commissioners, Senior Superintendents, Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, Inspectors, Sub-Inspectors, Sergeants and Constables.

6.   Order of precedence, command and seniority among officers

   (1) The ranks of the Police Service shall have precedence and command in the order set out in section 5, with the rank of Inspector General as the most senior.

   (2) Police officers holding the same rank shall stand in order of precedence and command according to their seniority reckoned by the date of appointment to that rank in the Service or, where the date of appointment to that rank in the Service is the same, by the date of their enlistment or, where the date of enlistment is the same, by their service number.

   (3) Where a police officer, other than a superior police officer, has been seconded to any branch, the word denoting the designation of the branch shall precede the title of the rank held, but the seniority of such police officer shall be the same as if he had not been so seconded.

7.   General powers of the Inspector General

   The Inspector General shall, subject to the general directions of the Minister, have the command, superintendence and direction of the Police Service, and may, subject to this Act and to any regulations or rules made there under, make such appointments, promotions, and reductions in ranks and grades, other than those of superior police officers and police officers of the rank of inspector, as may be delegated by the Police Service Commission in accordance with this Act.

8.   Police standing orders

   (1) The Inspector General may, subject to this Act and to the general directions of the Minister, from time to time, make standing orders for observance by all police officers.

   (2) Any police standing orders in force at the commencement of this Act shall be deemed to have been made under subsection (1) and shall continue to apply until revoked or amended or replaced by any other standing orders made under subsection (1).

9.   High command of the Police Service

   (1) There shall be a High Command of the Police Service which shall comprise the Inspector General, who shall be the head and chairperson of the High Command, every Deputy Inspector General and officers of the rank of Commissioner.

   (2) The functions and duties of the High Command shall be the formulation of organizational policy and the development of strategic and operational directives for the Police Service.

   (3) The High Command shall have power to determine its own procedure for the conduct of its proceedings.

10.   Delegation by Inspector General

   The Inspector General may delegate his powers under this Act to a Deputy Inspector General, Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Senior Assistant Commissioner or an Assistant Commissioner except the power granted under section 8 to make standing orders.

11.   Administration of the Police Service

   (1) The Minister may, on the recommendation of the Inspector General, designate any part of Malawi as constituting a region of Malawi for the purposes of the administration of the Police Service and shall give notification of such designation in the Gazette.

   (2) The Command of the Police in any region shall be vested in such police officer as may be appointed by the Inspector General to be in charge of the region and such officer shall carry out the orders of the Inspector General in all matters connected with the duties, discipline, interior economy and training of the officers under him.

   (3) The control of the police in any area or place within a region shall be vested in such police officer as may be appointed by the Inspector General to be in charge of the area or place and such officer shall, subject to the orders ;and directions of the Inspector General, carry out the orders of the officer in-charge of the region in all matters connected with the duties, discipline, interior economy and training of the officers under him.

12.   Officer in-charge of police to keep prescribed books and to be responsible for stores

   (1) Every officer in-charge of a police station shall keep a general diary or an occurrence book and such other books and records, and shall render such returns as the Inspector General may, from time to time direct.

   (2) Every officer in-charge of a police station shall be responsible for all public stores and public moneys issued and delivered for the use of the detachment under his command and shall account for such public stores and public moneys to the Inspector General.

PART III
POLICE SERVICE COMMISSION

13.   Functions

   The Police Service Commission established by section 155 of the Constitution shall have, in addition to the functions conferred on it by the Constitution, the following functions—

   (a)   to formulate schemes of recruitment in the Police Service;

   (b)   to provide for and determine the principles to be followed in making promotions in the Police Service for the purpose of ensuring uniformity of treatment of, and the standards to be attained by, police officers of each rank to qualify for promotion;

   (c)   to provide for all matters relating to the procedure for the exercise, and the delegation, of its powers of appointment, dismissal and disciplinary control of police officers;

   (d)   to adopt general measures necessary to guarantee efficiency and transparency in relation to appointments, promotions and disciplinary control in the Police Service; and

   (e)   to do or perform such other functions as are conferred on it by or under this Act or any other written law.

14.   Powers

   The Police Service Commission shall have power—

   (a)   as conferred on it by the Constitution, to—

      (i)   appoint persons to hold or act in offices in the Police Service other than that of Inspector General;

      (ii)   confirm appointments and remove from office any persons so appointed;

      (iii)   exercise disciplinary control in accordance with this Act over persons so appointed;

   (b)   by notice in the Gazette, to declare any additional ranks in the Police Service, fix the precedence of such ranks and declare that any such additional rank shall be deemed to be included in any existing rank for the purposes of the interpretation of this Act;

   (c)   to delegate by directions in writing any of its powers conferred by the Constitution or by this Act or by any other written law, to any member of the Commission or to any public officer or public body being part of the Malawi Police Service;

   (d)   to hear such complaints or appeals from aggrieved police officers relating to the exercise of powers delegated under this section; and

   (e)   to do and perform all such acts or things as are necessary or expedient for the performance or exercise of its functions and powers.

15.   Privilege of members

   Every member of the Police Service Commission shall have such protection and privilege, in case of any action or suit brought against him for any act done or attempted to be done m the bona fide execution of his duties, as is by law given in respect of acts done or words spoken by a judge of the Pligh Court in the exercise of his judicial office.

16.   Enforcement of attendance, etc.

   The Police Service Commission may require any person to attend and give evidence before it concerning any matter which it may properly consider in the exercise of its functions and powers and may require the production of any documents relating to any such matter by any person attending before it.

17.   Failure to appear or to produce documents before the Commission

   Any person, other than a person who is notified to appear before the Police Service Commission solely in connexion with his application for appointment to a post in the Police Service, who without reasonable cause fails to appear before the Commission when notified to do so by the Commission, or who willfully fails to produce any document in his possession when requested to do so by the Commission, commies an offence and shall, upon conviction, be liable to a fine of K20,000 and to imprisonment for six months.

18.   Improper disclosure

   -(1) No member of the Police Service Commission or any member of the staff of the Commission shall publish or disclose to any person, otherwise than in the exercise of his official functions, the contents of any document, communication or information whatsoever which has come to his notice in the course of his duties.

   (2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and shall, upon conviction, be liable to a fine of K20,000 and to imprisonment for six months.

19.   Improper influence and false information

   (1) Any person who directly or indirectly, otherwise than in the course of his duties, by himself or by any other person in any manner whatsoever attempts to improperly influence the Police Service Commission in the exercise of its functions or powers commits an offence and shall, upon conviction, be liable to a fine of K20,000 and to imprisonment for six months.

   (2) Any person who, in connexion with the exercise by the Police Service Commission of its functions and powers, willfully gives to the Commission any information which he knows to be false or does not believe to be true or which he knows to be false by reason of the omission of any material particular commits an offence and shall, upon conviction, be liable to a fine of K20,000 and to imprisonment for six months.

   (3) For the purposes of subsections (1) and (2), “Commission” includes the Commission, any member of the Commission, any member of the staff of the Commission or any person or body of persons appointed or engaged to assist the Commission in the exercise of its functions and powers.

20.   Secretary and staff

   (1) The Police Service Commission shall appoint a Secretary to the Police Service Commission who shall be a public officer and the chief executive officer of the Police Service Commission.

   (2) The Police Service Commission shall appoint such other staff as it may, from time to time, consider necessary and who shall be public officers.

   (3) The Secretary and other staff of the Police Service Commission shall be subject to the direction of the Police Service Commission.

   (4) The Police Service Commission may be served by officers in the public service in common with other public service commissions established under the Constitution or under an Act of Parliament, and such officers shall be deemed to have been duly appointed for the purposes of this section.

21.   Meetings of the Police Service Commission

   (1) The Police Service Commission shall meet as often as business requires and, in any event, at least three times a year.

   (2) A quorum for meetings of the Police Service Commission shall be formed by the presence of any three members.

   (3) Meetings of the Police Service Commission shall be presided over by the Chairman or, in his absence, by a member elected in that behalf by the members attending the meeting.

   (4) The Police Service Commission shall have power, subject to this Act, to determine its own procedures for the conduct of its business.

22.   Decisions of the Police Service Commission

   (1) Subject to subsection (2), at every meeting of the Police Service Commission decisions of the Police Service Commission shall be determined by the majority of the members present and voting at the meeting.

   (2) The Police Service Commission may make decisions without a meeting by the circulation of the relevant papers among the members and the expression of their views in writing, and if there is any disagreement as to the decision to be made, or if any member expresses a desire for the decision to be deferred, the matter shall be considered at a meeting of the Police Service Commission.

23.   Dissent

   Any member of the Police Service Commission shall be entitled to dissent from a decision of the Commission and to have his dissent and his reasons therefore recorded in the minutes of the Police Service Commission.

24.   Minutes

   The Secretary shall keep minutes of every meeting of the Police Service Commission, which shall include a record of the members present.

25.   Attendance expenses and allowances

   Any person attending before the Police Service Commission at the request of the Police Service Commission, other than a public officer or a person who is applying for appointment to the Police Service, shall be entitled to be paid by the Police Service Commission expenses and allowances as may be determined by the Minister, from time to time, on the recommendation of the Police Service Commission.

26.   Commission to hear Inspector General

   At the request of the Inspector General to be heard personally, the Police Service Commission shall hear him or his designated representative personally in connexion with any recommendation made by the Inspector General to the Police Service Commission.

27.   Irregular representations

   In carrying out its functions and duties under the Constitution, this Act and regulations made under this Act, the Police Service Commission shall not take into account any representations made to it otherwise than in accordance with the Constitution, the Act or such Regulations.

28.   Oaths of office

   (1) Every member of the Police Service Commission, and the Secretary of the Police Service Commission and such other members of staff of the Police Service Commission as the Police Service Commission may require, shall, on appointment, take an oath of office in the prescribed form.

   (2) A person who is required under subsection (1) to take an oath may instead make a solemn affirmation in the prescribed form for the due performance of the duties of his office.

   (3) An oath or affirmation taken by a member of the Police Service Commission shall be administered by the Chief Justice, and every oath or affirmation taken by the Secretary or any other member of the staff of the Police Service Commission shall be administered by the Chairman of the Police Service Commission.

29.   Character of Police Service as part of public service

   For the avoidance of doubt, the fundamental principles contained in the Public Service Act, for the administration of the public service shall be applied to the management and administration of the Police Service.

30.   Regulations in relation to the powers and functions of the Police Service Commission

   The Minister may, on the recommendation of the Police Service Commission, make regulations for the better carrying out of the provisions of this Part, and regulations made under this section shall be cited as the Police Service Commission Regulations.

PART IV
APPOINTMENT AND TERMINATION OF APPOINTMENT OF POLICE OFFICERS

31.   Appointment of police officers

   (1) Police officers of or above the rank of inspector, other than the Inspector General, shall be appointed by the Police Service Commission.

   (2) Police officers below the rank of inspector shall be appointed by the Inspector General in such manner as the Police Service Commission may direct and subject to such conditions as the Commission may prescribe.

32.   Arms and accoutrements to be delivered up on ceasing to belong to the Police Service

   (1) When a police officer ceases to belong to the Police Service, he shall forthwith deliver up to the person appointed by the Inspector General for that purpose, or to the officer in-charge of police at the place at which he was last stationed, all arms, ammunition, accoutrements, uniforms and other appointments which have been supplied to him and which are the property of the Government.

   (2) Any police officer who, having ceased to belong to the Police Service, fails to deliver up any such arms, ammunition, accoutrements, uniforms or other appointments as required by subsection (1) commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine of K10,000 and to imprisonment for three months, and the court may issue a warrant to search for and to seize all such arms, ammunition, accoutrements, uniforms and other appointments which shall not have been so delivered up.

33.   Police officers not to engage in other employment

   No police officer shall, without the consent of the Inspector General, engage in any employment or office other than in accordance with his duties under this Act.

PART V
POWERS, DUTIES AND PRIVILEGES OF POLICE OFFICERS

34.   General powers and duties of police officers

   (1) Every police officer shall exercise such powers and perform such duties as are conferred or imposed on a police officer by or under this Act or any other written law and as are by law conferred or imposed on police officers.

   (2) Every police officer shall—

   (a)   obey all lawful directions in respect of the execution of his office which he may from time to time receive from any competent authority;

   (b)   serve, and be willing to serve, at any station to which he may be assigned; and

   (c)   promptly obey and execute all orders and warrants lawfully issued by a competent authority.

   (3) It shall be the duty of every police officer to—

   (a)   collect and communicate intelligence affecting the functions, powers and duties of the Police;

   (b)   prevent the commission of offences and public nuisances;

   (c)   detect crime and bring offenders to justice; and

   (d)   apprehend all persons whom he is legally authorized to apprehend and for whose apprehension sufficient grounds exist.

   (4) 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 Malawi.

   (5) A police officer may, without warrant, enter at any hour of the day or night any premises licensed under the Liquor Act or any place in which he has reasonable grounds to suspect that illegal drinking or illegal gambling is taking place or to which dissolute or disorderly persons are resorting.

   (6) A police officer may, for the purposes of his duties under this section, without a warrant, enter at any hour of the day or night any premises or place in which he has reasonable grounds to suspect that an illegal act is taking place.

   (7) Except as otherwise provided by this Act or by the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code, every police officer shall have all such rights, powers, authorities, privileges and immunities, and shall be liable to all such duties and responsibilities as any police officer of or below the rank of sub-inspector duly appointed has or is subject or liable to, either by common law or by virtue of any law in force in Malawi.

35.   Search by police officers

   (1) Where a police officer of or above the rank of sub-inspector has reasonable grounds for believing that any thing necessary for purposes of an investigation into an offence which he is authorized to investigate may be found in any place and that such thing cannot in his opinion be otherwise obtained without undue delay, such officer may, after recording in writing the grounds of his belief and specifying in such writing, so far as is possible, the thing for which search is to be made, after giving the copy of a record thereof to the owner or occupant of the place to be searched, search without a warrant, or cause search without a warrant to be made, for such thing in any place and, if such thing be found, seize it and carry it before the nearest magistrate empowered to take cognizance of the offence to be dealt with according to law.

   (2) A police officer proceeding under subsection (1) shall, if practicable, conduct the search in person.

   (3) If a police officer of the rank referred to in subsection (1) is unable to conduct a search in person as required by subsection (2), and there is no other competent officer present to make the search at the time, he may, after recording in writing his reasons for so doing, require any officer subordinate to him not below the rank of sergeant to make the search; and he shall deliver to such subordinate officer an order in writing specifying the place to be searched and, in so far as it is possible, the thing for which search is to be made, and such subordinate officer may thereupon search for such thing in such place without a warrant.

This section of the article is only available for our subscribers. Please click here to subscribe to a subscription plan to view this part of the article.