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Security Service Act 1996 (c. 35)

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(The document as of February, 2008. Arhiv.Online Library)

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Security Service Act 1996

1996 CHAPTER 35

An Act to give the Security Service the function of acting in support of the prevention and detection of serious crime, and for connected purposes.

[18th July 1996]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:--

1 Functions of Security Service

(1) At the end of section 1 of the [1989 c. 5.] Security Service Act 1989 there shall be added--

" (4) It shall also be the function of the Service to act in support of the activities of police forces and other law enforcement agencies in the prevention and detection of serious crime. "

(2) In subsection (2) of section 2 of that Act (which imposes duties on the Director-General) after paragraph (b) there shall be added--

  • (c) that there are arrangements, agreed with a person designated by the Secretary of State, for co-ordinating the activities of the Service in pursuance of section 1(4) of this Act with the activities of police forces and other law enforcement agencies " .

(3) After subsection (3A) of that section there shall be inserted--

" (3B) The Secretary of State shall designate for the purposes of subsection (2)(c) above a person who is or has been a chief officer of police of a police force in England and Wales, the chief officer of a police force in Scotland or the chief constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary. "

2 Warrants

For subsection (3) of section 5 of the [1994 c. 13.] Intelligence Services Act 1994 (which excludes property in the British Islands from the ambit of warrants issued by the Secretary of State in support of the prevention or detection of serious crime) there shall be substituted--

" (3) A warrant issued on the application of the Intelligence Service or GCHQ for the purposes of the exercise of their functions by virtue of section 1(2)(c) or 3(2)(c) above may not relate to property in the British Islands.

(3A) A warrant issued on the application of the Security Service for the purposes of the exercise of their function under section 1(4) of the [1989 c. 5.] Security Service Act 1989 may not relate to property in the British Islands unless it authorises the taking of action in relation to conduct within subsection (3B) below.

(3B) Conduct is within this subsection if it constitutes (or, if it took place in the United Kingdom, would constitute) one or more offences, and either--

(a) it involves the use of violence, results in substantial financial gain or is conduct by a large number of persons in pursuit of a common purpose; or

(b) the offence or one of the offences is an offence for which a person who has attained the age of twenty-one and has no previous convictions could reasonably be expected to be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of three years or more. "

3 Extent

This Act extends to Northern Ireland.

4 Short title and commencement

(1) This Act may be cited as the Security Service Act 1996.

(2) This Act shall come into force on such day as the Secretary of State may appoint by an order made by statutory instrument.

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