1852 - Rules and Regulations of the Constabulary Force of New Zealand - EXTERNAL REGULATIONS, p 25-39

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  1852 - Rules and Regulations of the Constabulary Force of New Zealand - EXTERNAL REGULATIONS, p 25-39
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Superintendents to acquire knowledge of District and its inhabitants.

52. It is expected that he will acquire a perfect knowledge of his District and its inhabitants generally, and report promptly and correctly all circumstances connected with, or affecting in any way, the peace thereof.

Personally to visit scenes of crime.

53. In most instances of crime the Inspector or Officer in command should himself visit the scene thereof, to acquire a personal knowledge of all the circumstances, and he should invariably state in his report whether any, and what clue, has been obtained to the discovery of the perpetrators, and the steps which have been adopted to prevent a recurrence of the evil. Upon such occasions a fair opportunity is offered to the Inspector of judging of the zeal, intelligence, and ability of the officers of the Force, and of the manner in which they have been accustomed to acquit themselves of this important branch of their duty. Reports of outrages are to state the names of the Town or District in which such outrages were committed.

Officer of District immediately to report breaches of Peace, &c.

54. As it is of great importance that the Inspector should receive immediate intelligence of whatever affects the peace of the district, every occurrence

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involving the safety of persons and property, must be immediately reported to him; and the character of the Force imperatively demands the best attention of all its members to the efficient execution of this most essential duty. If, therefore, any newspaper or other account of an outrage shall precede the Police report of it, the officer of the district in which such outrage shall have occurred, must be deemed guilty of neglect, and will be dealt with accordingly, if he cannot satisfactorily explain the delay on his part, and point out on whom the blame of it should devolve.

To acquire knowledge of legal evidence.

55. The Inspector and Sub-Inspector should obtain a general knowledge of the nature of legal evidence, as upon them must frequently devolve the responsibility of carrying cases through all their different stages, until finally disposed of in a Court of Justice.

To be diligent in procuring it.

56. They must also be particularly active in procuring evidence in cases for the Supreme Court even after committal, as it must often happen that important evidence is procurable which has not been given before the committing Magistrate. It will then be their duty to communicate such evidence to the Attorney-General.


To report outrages, &c., to superior Officer.

57. He is, on his first arrival at his station, to wait on the Resident Magistrate to receive his instructions. He will report to him, as well as to his superior Officer, all outrages, or other matters connected with the tranquillity of his district, and visit all scenes of outrages as soon as possible after they shall have occurred (without reference to districts or divisions), unless he shall have reason to know that the place has already been visited by an officer, or some other Constable.

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Constable to acquire knowledge of his section and its inhabitants.

58. It is indispensably necessary that every Constable should make himself thoroughly acquainted with all parts of his section, or beat; of which, and its inhabitants generally, he may in time, by diligence and activity, acquire a perfect knowledge. He will thus be enabled to render efficient services when called upon.

To be uniformly courteous.

59. It is the bounden duty of a Constable to behave with courtesy to all, and on all occasions to be kind and attentive to those in need of his assistance.

To avoid altercations and irritating language.

60. It is altogether inconsistent with the situation in which the law and their office place them, that Constables should enter into altercations or squabbles of any kind, which are altogether inadmissible in a peace officer. He has the power to avoid them, and he must do so by keeping his temper under complete control. The use of irritating or abusive language by a Constable will, under no circumstances, or whatever the provocation, be tolerated.

To keep his temper and never resent insults.

61. A Constable is constantly exposed to numerous insults, is obliged to encounter many provocations; but he must recollect that these things are incidental to his office, and that he is called upon to act, not as an individual, but as a Public Officer; neither resentment nor anger is becoming in him; and in proportion as he displays discretion, forbearance, and coolness, will his merit be augmented in the eyes of the public, and in the estimation of his superior Officers. Where a Constable exhibits good temper in the execution of his duty, he may safely calculate upon the approbation or assistance of every respectable spectator; while, on the contrary, any display of passion is almost certain to expose him to insults, and tends, to deprive him of that presence of mind which is so essential for his own protection, and the reputation of the service. He should further remember, that, as the law is sufficiently strong to punish those by whom he may be insulted,

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so he ought not to have recourse to his truncheon, excepting in self-defence, and even then only where the use of it is absolutely necessary for the performance of his duty.

Great forbearance necessary in dealing with aboriginal natives.

62. All the foregoing remarks are, if possible, still more applicable where the aboriginal natives of the country are concerned. Even greater forbearance, if possible, should be exercised in their case by Constables than with their own countrymen, because of the ignorance of the natives of the English language, and of English laws and customs, and because their own habits and feelings would make them consider harmless or proper, many acts which our laws denounce as offences. The evil consequences which probably might follow any irritation caused to Chiefs, or powerful natives, should not be lost sight of by Constables; and it must be remembered that, though differing little in outward appearance from natives of lower rank, many of them have been always accustomed to, and therefore expect to be treated with, the respect ordinarily paid to superior Europeans.


As to duties already prescribed by law.

63. It is intended here to state such parts of the British law relating to the office of a Constable as may be sufficient for the general instruction of the Police Force.

Constable to acquire knowledge thereof.

64. Each individual will bear in mind the extreme importance of making himself perfectly acquainted with this subject; it is necessary to enable him, with a due regard to his own safety, to act efficiently for the protection of the public.

Principal Felonies.

65. The principal Felonies are,--Murder, and attempts to Murder--Manslaughter--Rape--Robbery, and attempts to Rob--Burglary--Housebreaking-- Cattle, Horse, and Sheep Stealing--Stealing from the dwelling-house, from the person, and Thefts generally--Receiving Stolen Goods--Embezzlement, &c.; also, setting Fire to any House, Outbuilding, Stacks, or Crops; all cases of Forgery and Coining--maliciously

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setting Fire to, or wilfully damaging any Ship or Vessel--exhibiting any False Light, with intent to bring any Ship into danger, or maliciously doing anything tending to the destruction of any Vessel in distress, or my Goods belonging thereto, or impeding any Person endeavouring to save his life from such Ship or Vessel; maliciously pulling down any Public Bridge, with intent to render it impassable, or dangerous; maliciously throwing down any Toll Bar or Fence belonging to any Turnpike Gate; maliciously Killing, wounding, or maiming any Cattle, &c, &c.

Minor offences.

66. The minor offences, such as Affrays, Assaults, Frauds, Riots, uttering Counterfeit Coin, &c., &c, are called Misdemeanours.


Felonies--Burglaries--Thefts, &.c.

Constable to prevent crime.

67. The first duty of a Constable is always to prevent the commission of crime.

To arrest

68. For this purpose he has power to arrest any one whom, from his situation and character, he has just cause to suspect of being about to commit some Felony.

Persons threatening destruction to life or property.

69. Thus, when a lunatic, or drunken person, or man in a passion, threatens, either by words or acts, to do any injury to the person of another, or destroy his property, the Constable should interfere, and arrest.

Intending to break into houses, or feloniously use offensive weapons.

70. He should arrest any person whom he finds under such circumstances as give just cause to suspect that he is about to break into any dwelling-house, warehouse, coach-house, stable, or out-building, especially if he have in his possession any implement adapted to that purpose; or any person armed with any gun, pistol, hanger, cutlass, bludgeon, or offensive weapon, and shewing an intent therewith to commit any felonious act.

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Or actually committing or charged with having committed Felony.

71. The Constable must arrest any one whom he sees in the act of committing a Felony, or any one whom another positively charges with having committed a Felony, if a well-founded suspicion appear to the Constable to exist, and provided the person so charging him go with, or give his name to the Constable, so that he may be found to prosecute.

Or reasonably suspected of having done so.

72. Though no charge be made, yet if the Constable suspect a person has committed a Felony, he should arrest him; and if he have reasonable grounds for his suspicion, he will be justified, even though it should afterwards appear that no Felony has been committed; but the Constable must be cautious in thus acting upon his own suspicion.

Or carrying goods apparently stolen.

73. If the Constable see any one carrying, or in any manner conveying any goods or chattels whatsoever, and it shall appear to him that there is probable cause to suspect that they have been stolen, he should apprehend the person, and may detain him with the goods; but, here also, he should judge from circumstances (such as appearance and manner of the party--his account of himself--and the like) whether he has really got stolen goods, before he actually takes him into custody.

Constable how to judge of intention to commit crime.

74. In these, and such cases, the Constable may judge, from the situation and behaviour of the party, what his intention is. In some cases no doubt can exist, as when the party is a notorious thief, or acting with those who are thieves, or is seen to try people's pockets in a crowd, or to attempt to break into a house, or to endeavour to take any property secretly from another. In case the intention is not clear, the Constable should content himself with watching closely the suspected party, that he may discover his design.

Constable will be protected in arrests honestly made.

75. Generally, if the arrest is made discreetly and fairly in pursuit of an offender, and not from any private malice, or ill will, the Constable need not doubt that the law will protect him.

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Affrays, Assaults, and Breaches of the Peace.

Not to interfere in verbal quarrels.

76. If persons be merely quarrelling, or verbally insulting each other, the Constable has no right to take them into custody, but should be ready to prevent a breach of the peace.

Not to arrest persons for mere abuse.

77. Neither has the Constable the right to deprive any person of his liberty, for abusive language to himself, however violent and irritating it may be.

Breaches of the Peace committed in sight of the Constable.

78. In cases of actual breaches of the peace, as riots, assaults, and the like, committed within view of the Constable, he should immediately interfere (first giving public notice of his office if he be not already known), separate the combatants, and prevent others from joining in the affray. If the offenders do not immediately desist, he should take them into custody, securing also the principal instigators of the tumult, and doing everything in his power to restore quiet.

When not committed in his sight how to proceed.

79. A Constable, in cases of assault which have not been committed in his presence, or within his view, is not authorized to arrest, or assist in arresting the party charged, nor is he to receive a person so charged into his custody unless the party has been arrested by some other constable who saw the assault committed; but if a person has been cut or wounded, and gives into custody the party charged with having cut or wounded him, the Constable is authorized to take the party into his custody, and keep him in safe custody until he can be brought before a Magistrate.

Persons forcibly entering the houses of others.

80. If a person forcibly enter the house of another, the Constable may, at the request of the owner, turn him out directly; if he has entered peaceably, and the owner request the Constable to turn him out, the Constable should first request him to go out, and if he should not do so, he should turn him out; in either case using no more force than is necessary for the purpose.

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Any one opposing Constable may be arrested.

81. He may arrest any one assaulting or opposing him in the execution of his duty, hut in doing so he must be able to prove some specific act.

Vagrants, and minor Offenders, Persons Drunk or Insane.

Persons indecently exposing themselves &c.

82. The Constable ought to arrest and take before a Justice any person walking about the streets and exposing to view in the streets any obscene print or exhibition, or any person wilfully, openly, and obscenely in any street or place of public resort wantonly and indecently exposing his person.

Or gambling or tippling in streets.

83. All persons gaming, or tippling, in the public streets, bye places, or fields, may be apprehended, and brought before the Justices.

Or Insane persons, &c., wandering at large.

84. When insane persons or children are found wandering in the streets, or roads, unable to give an account of their residence, they are to be taken in charge by the Police, and brought to the nearest station. Information is to be immediately given of the fact in the neighbourhood where the person is found; and, if the person be not claimed soon after, application is to be made to the Magistrates for his disposal, and the result reported on the occurrence sheet.

Lockup drunken persons.

85. Persons found drunk in any street, square, lane, road, way, or other public thoroughfare or place, may be apprehended and taken to the Lock-up, and there kept till they can be brought before any Justice of the Peace within whose jurisdiction they shall be found.


Persons present bound to aid Constable in making arrests, if requisite.

86. If the Constable find his exertions insufficient to effect an arrest, he ought to require all persons present to assist him, and they are bound to do so.

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Constable may break doors in extreme cases, to secure felons.

87. The Constable must make every exertion to effect the arrest, and the law gives him abundant power for the purpose. If the Felon, or party accused of felony flee, he may be immediately followed wherever he goes; and if he take refuge in a house, the Constable may break open the doors, if necessary, to get in, first stating who he is, and his business; but the breaking open of outer doors is so dangerous a proceeding, that the Constable never should resort to it except in extreme cases, and when an immediate arrest is necessary.

Also to prevent felony, in cases of absolute necessity

88. There are some cases in which a Constable may, and ought to break into a house, although no felony has been committed, when the necessity of the case will not admit of delay; as when persons are fighting furiously in a house, or when a house has been entered by others with a felonious intent, and a felony will probably be committed unless the Constable interfere, and there is no other means of entering. Except in such cases, it is better, in general, that the Constable should wait till he has a warrant from the Magistrate for the purpose.

In cases of intended breach of peace Constable may break doors after notice given.

89. When the offence has not yet been committed, but when a breach of the peace is likely to take place, as when persons are openly preparing to fight, the Constable, as has been said, should take the parties concerned into custody. If they flee into a house, or are making preparations to fight within the house, the Constable should enter the house to prevent them, and likewise take the parties into custody; and, should the doors be closed, he may break them open, if admission be refused, after giving notice of his office, and his object in entering. But the power of Constables to break doors should be exercised in extreme cases only, and then with great caution.

Also to arrest escaped prisoners.

90 If a prisoner escape out of custody, he may be pursued immediately any where, and if he take refuge in a house, the door may be broken open, after the Constable having been denied admission, and after notification by him of his office, and object in coming.

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Constable may enter to search for stolen goods with a warrant.

91. The Constable may enter a house to search for stolen goods, having got a search-warrant from a Magistrate for that purpose.

How to proceed with respect to searching.

92. He should, when it is possible, execute the warrant in the day time; if he find the goods mentioned, he is to take them to a Magistrate; and, when the warrant so directs, he must take the person also in whose possession they are found. To avoid mistakes, the owner of the goods ought, if possible, to attend at the search to identify them.

Under warrant may break doors after due notice.

93. The Constable is also authorized, under such warrant from a Magistrate, to break open any dwelling-house, shop, warehouse, or other place named in the warrant, as shall not be opened on demand, after due notice of such warrant for the purpose therein stated.

Constable bound strictly by warrant

94. The Constable is bound to follow the directions contained in a warrant, and to execute it with secrecy and despatch; the power given him for the purpose of arresting has been already shewn. If the warrant cannot be executed immediately, it should be executed as soon as possible.

And must execute it himself and not part with it.

95. The Constable who has the warrant must execute it himself, or when he calls in assistance, must be actually present. Upon all occasions he ought to state his authority (if it be not generally known), and shew his warrant, and read it when required to do so; but he should never part with the possession of the warrant, as it may be wanted afterwards for his own justification.

Disposal of prisoner when arrested.

96. Upon the arrest being made, the prisoner is to be taken to the nearest Lock-up first, and then before a Magistrate as soon as convenient. When the prisoner is brought to the Justice he still remains in custody until his discharge or committal, or until the Constable receive the order of the Justice.

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Constables to enquire into reported Felonies.

97. On information of a Felony or other offence, it is the duty of the Constable to make immediate enquiry into the case.

To take measures to secure criminal.

98. If the delinquent has fled, the Constable must instantly take measures to secure his apprehension, by obtaining a trace, going promptly in pursuit of him, and sending information to the officer of the division, and the Constables in the adjoining districts.

To inform superior Officer, and continue investigation.

99. In all cases of Felony, information must be sent to the Inspector, or Sub-Inspector, with the least possible delay. If the information supplied in the first instance be incomplete, the Constable will continue to pursue his enquiries and investigation until it is in his power to make a full and particular report, in doing which he must exert his utmost care in giving the true spelling of the names of parties, witnesses, and places; and, above all things, avoid, either in his Report, or subsequently in his examination, making the case appear to be stronger than can be fully borne out by the evidence.

Every Constable of whatever district to repair to scenes of aggravated crimes, &c.

100. When crimes of a highly aggravated nature, such as murder, fire-raising, rape, housebreaking, highway robbery, cattle, horse, or sheep stealing, &c, shall have been committed, the Constable must immediately repair to the spot, without reference to districts, or divisions, (unless he shall have reason to know that the place has already been visited by some other Officer or Constable), and take note of such marks and appearances as may tend to prove the case, or lead to the apprehension of the delinquent.

And take note of traces of criminal.

101. If there be any footmarks, he must take most accurate descriptions of them by measurement and otherwise; wherever it is practicable to do so without injury to the impression, the footmark, or any other

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mark of a peculiar nature, should be carefully taken up and kept in some place of security, under direction of the Inspector, or Sub-Inspector, until required for production before the proper authority, for the purpose of comparison.

What to be done in cases of persons found dead.

102. In all cases of persons found dead, the Constable hearing of the fact, should repair to the spot, and should keep off all persons from coming near the body, (which might destroy footmarks, or other means of finding out the parties present at the time, and also the manner of the death,) until he shall receive orders from the Coroner, or a Magistrate, or the Inspector, as to the removal of the body.

Dress of delinquent to be preserved, &c.

103. It is most desirable that the dress which a delinquent wears when apprehended should be preserved, so that he may wear it, if necessary, both at his examination and trial; and that where there is risk of a question being raised as to the identity of a prisoner, he shall not be allowed to make any decided alteration in his appearance.


Prisoners to be searched.

104. Prisoners must be carefully searched previous to being locked up, and as soon as possible after apprehension, by the Constable who may have taken them into custody, and by no other.

And their property to be retained by Constable.

105. Much inconvenience to the Service, and a most reprehensible practice of accumulating unnecessary evidence may, and must be avoided, by its being constantly borne in mind that, in cases where it may be necessary to produce, and swear to the identity of property, such property must never for an instant be suffered to pass from the hands of the Constable into whose possession it has fallen, until he can deposit it in a proper place of security, under the direction of the Inspector, or Sub-Inspector, or until he be relieved from.

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the charge of it after its production before the proper authority.

Record of such property to be kept.

106. A correct record must be kept by each Inspector, or other officer in charge of a division, of all property which may from time to time come into the possession of the Constabulary, whether it be stolen, suspected to be stolen, found, or taken from the persons or dwellings of prisoners.

Receipt for it if restored.

107. On the restoration of property to the owner, a receipt should be taken, and filed in the Station-house.

Other property to be given in charge to gaol keeper.

108. When prisoners are committed to Gaol, any money or other property belonging to them, and not required to be produced in evidence against them, must be given in charge to the Keeper, for the purpose of being restored to them on their discharge from confinement.

Prisoner in Lockup to be provided with food.

109. When a prisoner is unavoidably detained in the Lock-up for a night, or more, and needs refreshment, he must, if he have the means, be made to pay for it himself; but, in cases when, from poverty, the prisoner is absolutely unable to procure provisions for himself, he must be supplied at the public expense, at a cost not exceeding tenpence in the twenty-four hours.

Constable to manage his own case.

110. When a Constable has a case in hand he must on no account be interfered with, nor should any attempt be made to deprive him of the management of it.

Until finally disposed of.

111. He must, on the contrary, be made to conduct it through all its stages (under the advice of his Inspector), until finally disposed of by a Magistrate, or Court of Justice.

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Public Houses--Street Nuisances--Fires.

Public Houses --Constable not to enter them except on duty.

112. The Constable should pay particular attention to all Public Houses or Beer-Shops within his Section or Beat, and inform his superiors whether they appear to be kept in an orderly manner, but on no pretence enter any Public House or Beer-Shop, except in the immediate execution of his duty.

To take no liquor without paying at the time.

113. No liquor of any sort shall be taken by him from a Publican, without paying for it at the time.

To report any thing offensive in street.

114. If he observe in the street or road anything likely to produce danger, or public inconvenience; or any thing which seems to him irregular or offensive, he must report it to the Sergeant or Inspector.

How to act in cases of fire.

115. In case of a fire taking place, the Constable on the spot should give immediate alarm ; as soon as possible send information to the Police Station; and, until the arrival of some superior officer, from whom he may receive orders, he will exert himself in any way likely to be most useful; as in keeping the space clear near the spot, assisting in removing property, giving notice to the Engine Keeper, &c.

General Instructions respecting breaches of Ordinances of New Zealand and of New Munster.

New Zealand Ordinances to which the attention of the Police is to be particularly given.

116. It is the duty of every Constable to be constantly on the watch to detect breaches of any of the Ordinances of the Colony, affecting the Public under the supervision of the Police. The attention of the Force should be particularly directed to the following offences:--

Breaches of the Customs Ordinances, (B. 1 to B. 5 in the Book of New Zealand Ordinances), by smuggling, and of the Distillation Prohibition Ordinance: (B8).

Of the Ordinances forbidding the unlicensed sale of Spirituous Liquors, (Licensing Ordinance--and Li-

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censing Amendment Ordinances, B 6, B 7, & No. 16, Sess. XI), and the Sale of Spirits Ordinance, (F. 2,) which prohibits the sale or supply of Spirituous Liquors to persons of the Native race:

Of the Ordinances relating to the sale, purchase, repair, or removal of Gunpowder, arms, or ammunition. (C. 3, C, 4, C. 5.) It is the duty of the Police to watch for, and prevent any unauthorised transactions of this kind either by Natives or Europeans:

Of the Cattle Trespass Ordinance--by cattle wandering in streets, &c, (F. 5, Sect. 4); and of the Footpath Ordinance, (F. 8,) with respect to footpaths regularly notified:

Of the Weights and Measures Ordinance, (E. 3,)-- whenever it shall be brought into operation.

New Munster Ordinances, &c.

117. Within the province of New Munster the following Ordinances of the Provincial Council of 1849, viz., the Entire Animal Ordinance, No. 3, the Constabulary Force Ordinance, No. 9, and the Dog Nuisance Ordinance, No. 11, where the two last have been proclaimed to be in force, are to be attended to.

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