Circular Economy and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2022

Admissibility of evidence obtained under section 23A

34. The Act of 1997 is amended by the insertion of the following section after section 23B (inserted by section 33 ):

“23C. (1) Evidence obtained under section 23A—

(a) may be admitted as evidence in criminal proceedings, and

(b) shall not require the device from which it was obtained be exhibited in court proceedings.

(2) Nothing in section 23A is to be construed as prejudicing the admissibility of information or material obtained otherwise than as a result of operating a recording device under the provisions of this Act.

(3) Information obtained as a result of the operation of an approved CCTV scheme may be admitted as evidence in criminal proceedings notwithstanding any error or omission on the face of the approval given in respect of the scheme concerned, if the court, having regard in particular to the matters specified in subsection (4), decides that—

(a) the error or omission concerned was inadvertent, and

(b) the information ought to be admitted in the interests of justice.

(4) The matters referred to in subsection (3) are—

(a) whether the error or omission concerned was serious or merely technical in nature,

(b) the nature of any right infringed by the manner in which the information was obtained,

(c) whether there were circumstances of urgency relating to the giving of the approval, or

(d) the probative value of the information concerned.

(5) A failure to observe any provision of section 23A or of any code of practice approved under section 23B on the part of any local authority or authorised person, shall not (without prejudice to the power of the court to exclude evidence) of itself affect the admissibility of any evidence thereby obtained.

(6) It shall be presumed, unless the contrary is shown, that—

(a) any device used in an approved CCTV scheme for the purposes of this Act is a device capable of producing accurate information or material without the necessity of proving that that device was in good working order,

(b) the information produced by the device, and any copies thereof, is accurate, and

(c) the device was operated in accordance with the relevant code of practice approved under section 23B in respect of its operation.

(7) A person who—

(a) falsifies, conceals, destroys or otherwise disposes of, information gathered by a recording device while it was or is being operated under this Act,

(b) permits the falsification, concealment, destruction or disposal, of such information, or

(c) knowingly causes damage to or destroys a recording device,

shall be guilty of an offence.

(8) A person shall not be guilty of an offence under subsection (7) where he or she—

(a) destroys or disposes, or

(b) permits the destruction or disposal,

of information gathered by a recording device in accordance with a code of practice made under section 23B or otherwise in accordance with law.”.