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NEWS

Short Update: CPS Review found that 56 people have been charged wrongly under emergency coronavirus legislation

FairTrialsAdmin - May 15, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, Extended police powers, New criminal offences

On 15 May, the police and the Crown Prosecution Service ("CPS") were reported to have wrongly charged 56 people under emergency coronavirus legislation. 

Under the Coronavirus Act, people suspected of being infected with the virus may be forcibly taken for testing. The CPS said that every single one of the 44 charges brought under the Act was wrong because there was no evidence that someone was infected. Thirty-one of those charges were withdrawn, while thirteen charges led to wrongful convictions. 

Of those charged under legislation that enforced social distancing, twelve were wrongly charged.   Some errors were caused by officers applying laws that were applicable in a different nation. 

The police explained that the errors were caused by the rushed nature of the emergency legislation, while a human rights lawyer expressed concern over overzealous policing and the misstating of the law.  

We publish information as it is reported to us. If you would like to make us aware of an inaccuracy or send us more information please email us at [email protected]

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please call the media team on +44 (0) 7749 785 932 or email [email protected]

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