CHAPTER 172
POLICE FORCE ACT

Arrangement of Sections

PART I

Preliminary

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

PART II

Constitution and Administration

3. Continuation of existing Police Force and application of Act thereto.

4. Constitution of Police Force.

5. Ranks and seniority.

6. Functions of police.

7. Employment of police in time of emergency.

8. General powers of Commissioner of Police.

9. Administration of police.

10. Police officers to keep prescribed books and to render returns.

11. Stores.

PART III

Appointments, Declaration, Service and Discharge

12. Appointments of Police Constable Cadets.

13. Oath of office to be taken by Commissioner of Police.

14. Declaration on enlistment.

15. Police officer not to engage in other employment.

16. Police officer not to resign without permission.

17. Prolongation of service in case of war, etc.

18. Discharge of subordinate officers.

19. Interdiction of police officers.

20. Police officers subject to Act until receipt of certificate of discharge.

21. Arms and accoutrements to be delivered upon ceasing to belong to the Force.

PART IV

Status, Powers, Duties and Privileges of Police Officers

22. Every police officer to have the powers of a constable.

23. Police officers of higher rank may exercise powers vested in officers in lower rank.

24. Person serving in the Force deemed a member of the Force.

25. General powers and duties of police officers.

26. Power to lay informations.

27. [Repealed]

28. Power of police officers to inspect licences or permits.

29. Duty of the Force to keep order on the public roads.

30. Powers of Police officers to control movement of boats.

31. Loitering.

32. Power to seize weapons.

33. Power to use firearms.

34. Non-liability for act done under authority of a warrant.

PART V

Discipline

35. Offences against discipline.

36. Power of Commissioner of Police or officer to hear charge or complaint for offences against discipline and to inflict punishment.

37. Powers of officers holding inquiry.

38. Right of appeal to President or to Commissioner of Police.

39. Commissioner of Police may reduce or vary punishment.

40. Procedure for grave or repeated offences.

41. Prosecution a bar to proceedings under this Act.

42. Membership of trade union forbidden.

43. Fine to be recovered by stoppage of pay.

44. Damage to or loss of equipment etc.

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

PART VI

Police Reward Fund and Gratuities

46. Police Reward Fund.

47. No Gratuities on termination of service.

PART VII

Special Constables

48. Power to appoint special constables.

49. Powers and duties of special constables.

50. Commissioner of Police to provide necessary equipment for special constables.

51. Declaration to be made by special constables.

52. Refusal of person appointed to serve.

53. Power to suspend or determine the services of any special constables.

54. Delivery up of equipment.

55. Remuneration of special constables.

PART VIII

General Offences

56. Power to prosecute under other law not affected.

57. Mutiny, desertion, etc.

58. Harbouring in public house, officers on duty.

59. Unlawful possession of articles supplied to police officers.

60. Persons causing disaffection.

61. Disorderly conduct in police building, etc.

PART IX

Miscellaneous

62. Power to make regulations.

63. Power to exempt police canteen, mess or other similar institution from provisions of the Licences Act.

SCHEDULE

13 of 1959,

8 of 1960,

39 of 1961,

11 of 1962,

14 of 1963,

24 of 1963,

32 of 1964,

35 of 1965,

6 of 1967,

6 of 1968,

26 of 1973,

9 of 1974,

17 of 1974,

23 of 1976,

31 of 1980,

10 of 1982,

6 of 1997.

SI 79 of 1966,

29 of 1974,

95 of 1975,

72 of 1976,

99 of 1979,

23 of 1988,

41 of 1991.

[Date of commencement: 23rd November 1959]

PART I

Preliminary

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Police Force Act.

2. Interpretation.

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

"arms" includes firearms;

"Force" means the Seychelles Police Force as by law established;

"non-commissioned officer" means a police officer of the rank of sergeant;

"police" or "the police" means a member or members of the Force;

"Police Constable Cadet" means a person appointed by the Commissioner of Police under the provisions of section 12;

"police officer" means any member of the Force;

"public place" includes any public way and any building, place or conveyance to which for the time being the public are entitled or permitted to have access, either without any condition or upon condition of making any payment, and any building or place which is for the time being used for any public or religious meeting or assembly or as an open court;

"public way" includes any highway, market place, square, street, bridge or other way which is lawfully used by the public;

"subordinate officer" means any police officer below the rank of Assistant Superintendent;

"Senior officer" means any police officer of or above the rank of Assistant Superintendent.

PART II

Constitution and Administration

3. Continuation of existing Police Force and application of Act thereto.

The Police Force existing on the day immediately preceding the date of commencement of this Act by virtue of the provisions of any provisions written new, shall be continued under this Act as the Seychelles Police Force, and the members of such Force shall be subject to the provisions of this Act as though such Force had been established thereunder, and such Force shall accordingly be deemed to have been established under this Act.

4. Constitution of Police Force.

The Seychelles Police Force shall consist of such number of police officers as may from time to time be approved by the President and enrolled in the Force.

5. Ranks and seniority.

(1) The Force shall consist of the undermentioned ranks in the following order of seniority—

Commissioner of Police

Deputy Commissioner of Police

Chief Superintendent

Superintendent

Assistant Superintendent

Chief Inspector

Inspector

Sub-Inspector

Sergeant Major

Sergeant

Corporal

Lance Corporal

Constable

Provided that the President may from time to time, by notice in the Gazette amend, add to or vary such ranks.

(2) The listing of the above ranks in their order of seniority shall not be construed as creating an obligation for the appointment or promotion of any person to any of the ranks.

6. Functions of police.

The Force shall be employed in Seychelles for the maintenance of law and order, the preservation of peace, the prevention and detection of crime, and the apprehension of offenders, and for the performance of such duties police officers may carry arms.

7. Employment of police in time of emergency.

(1) The President may in case of war, or other emergency, employ the Force, or any part thereof, to serve with the Defence Forces or otherwise, in the defence of Seychelles.

(2) When called upon to serve with the Defence Force, the Force or such part thereof as may be so employed, shall be subject to military law (being the law to which members of the Defence Force are subject).

8. General powers of Commissioner of Police.

(1) The Commissioner of Police shall, subject to the orders and directions of the President, have the command, superintendence, direction and control of the Force, and may, subject to the provisions of this Act make such appointments, promotions, and reductions in ranks and grades of subordinate officers as he may deem fit.

(2) The Commissioner of Police may subject to any orders and directions of the President, from time to time, make orders for the general government of police officers in relation to their enlistment, ranks, duties, transfer (including expenses in connection therewith), discharge, training, arms and accoutrements, clothing and equipment and places of residence as well as their distribution and inspection and such other orders as he may deem expedient for promoting the efficiency and discipline of such police officers.

(3) Any act or thing which may be done, ordered or performed by the Commissioner of Police may, subject to the orders and directions of the Commissioner of Police, be done, or performed by a Senior officer.

9. Administration of police.

(1) The administration of the Force throughout Seychelles shall, subject to the orders and directions of the President, be vested in the Commissioner of Police.

(2) The control of the police in any place shall be vested in such police officer as may be appointed by the Commissioner of Police to be in charge thereof. Such officers shall be subordinate to and carry out the orders of the Commissioner of Police in all matters connected with discipline, internal administration, and training of the police under him.

10. Police officers to keep prescribed books and to render returns.

Every police officer in charge of a police station shall keep such books and records and shall render such prescribed returns to the Commissioner of Police as the Commissioner of Police may from time to time direct.

11. Stores.

Every police officer 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 the same to the Commissioner of Police.

PART III

Appointments, Declaration, Service and Discharge

12. Appointments of Police Constable Cadets.

(1) The terms of appointment, conditions and length of service, discipline and other matters connected with the appointment and termination of Police Constable Cadets shall be prescribed by regulations.

(2) A Police Constable Cadet shall not be a police officer for the purposes of this Act.

13. Oath of office to be taken by Commissioner of Police.

The Commissioner of Police shall, as soon as possible after assuming the duties of his office, take the oath in the manner prescribed by the Official Oaths Act.

14. Declaration on enlistment.

Every police officer under the rank of Commissioner of Police shall on joining the Force, make and sign the following declaration before the Commissioner of Police in such manner as he may declare to be most binding on his conscience—

"I ............................. (name) do swear/do solemnly affirm, that I will well and truly serve the President and Republic of Seychelles during my service in the Seychelles Police Force: that I will subject myself to all Acts, Orders and regulations relating to the said Force from time to time in force and will discharge all the duties of a police officer according to law without fear or favour, affection or ill-will."

15. Police officer not to engage in other employment.

No police officer shall, without the consent of the Commissioner of Police, engage in any other employment or office.

16. Police officer not to resign without permission.

No subordinate officer may resign from the Force unless expressly authorised in writing so to do by the Commissioner of Police:

Provided that a subordinate officer who has served in the Force for more than five years may resign on giving to the Commissioner of Police not less than three months' notice in writing of his intention.

17. Prolongation of service in case of war, etc.

Any police officer whose period of service expires during a state of war, hostilities, insurrection or emergency, may be retained and his service prolonged for such further period as the President may direct.

18. Discharge of subordinate officers.

(1) Any subordinate officer may be discharged by the Commissioner of Police at any time—

(a) if, before being confirmed in a pensionable office, the Commissioner of Police shall consider that he is unlikely to become an efficient police officer;

and, subject to the approval of the President,

(b) on medical evidence to the satisfaction of the President that he is incapable by reason of some infirmity of mind or body of discharging his duties and that such infirmity is likely to be permanent;

(c) upon conviction for any offence and sentence in respect thereof to imprisonment without the option of a fine or on conviction for an offence involving fraud, dishonesty, or moral turpitude;

(d) on the abolition of his office;

(e) for the purpose of facilitating improvement in the organisation of the officer's department or of the Force, by which greater efficiency and economy can be effected;

(f) if the Commissioner of Police shall consider that he has ceased to be an efficient police officer.

(2) A subordinate officer when discharged under subsection (1) shall, except in cases arising under paragraph (c), be given one month's notice in writing or one month's pay in lieu thereof, if he has not been confirmed in a pensionable office, and if he has been so confirmed he shall be given three months' notice in writing or three months' pay in lieu thereof.

(3) A subordinate officer who continues in the service of the Force after the first year of his initial period of enlistment shall be deemed to be confirmed in a pensionable office.

19. Interdiction of police officers.

(1) When any police officer is accused of any offence against any law or against this Act, the Commissioner of Police may interdict such officer from the exercise of the powers, functions and duties vested in him as a police officer, pending the result of the proceedings taken against such officer.

(2) A police officer who has been interdicted shall be allowed to receive such portion of his pay, not being less than one half, as the President shall think fit if the proceedings against such officer do not result in his dismissal or other punishment, such officer shall be entitled to the full amount of the pay which he would have received if he had not been interdicted.

20. Police officers subject to Act until receipt of certificate of discharge.

Every police officer shall, until he has received a certificate of discharge, remain subject to the provisions of this Act.

21. Arms and accoutrements to be delivered upon ceasing to belong to the Force.

(1) When a police officer ceases to belong to the Force he shall forthwith deliver up to the person appointed by the Commissioner of Police for that purpose, all arms, ammunition, accoutrements, uniform 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 be a member of the Force, fails to comply with the provisions of subsection (1), shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred rupees or to imprisonment not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment; and the court may issue a warrant to search for and seize all such arms, ammunition, accoutrements, uniform and other appointments which shall not have been delivered up.

PART IV

Status, Powers, Duties and Privileges of Police Officers

22. Every police officer to have the powers of a constable.

Except as otherwise provided by this Act or the Criminal Procedure Code, every police officer shall have such rights, powers, authorities, privileges and immunities, and be liable to all such duties and responsibilities as any constable duly appointed now has or is subject or liable to, or may hereafter have or be subject or liable to, either by the Common Law of England, or by virtue of any law which is now or may hereafter be in force in Seychelles.

23. Police officers of higher rank may exercise powers vested in officers in lower rank.

Where, in any law, powers are conferred upon police officers of a certain rank, such powers may lawfully be exercised by police officers of any higher rank.

24. Person serving in the Force deemed a member of the Force.

Every person for the time being serving in the Force shall be deemed a member of the Force and shall have and enjoy all the rights, powers, authorities, privileges, immunities conferred on a member of the Force by any law which is now or may hereafter be in force in Seychelles.

25. General powers and duties of police officers.

(1) Every police officer shall exercise such powers and perform such duties as are by law conferred or imposed upon a police officer, and shall obey all lawful directions in respect of the execution of his office, which he may from time to time receive from his Seniors in the Force or from any other competent authority.

(2) It shall be the duty of every police officer promptly to obey and execute all orders and warrants lawfully issued to him by any competent authority, to collect and communicate intelligence affecting the public peace, to prevent the commission of offences and public nuisances, to detect and bring offenders to justice, and to apprehend all persons whom he is legally authorised to apprehend and for whose apprehension sufficient grounds exist.

26. Power to lay informations.

It shall be lawful for any police officer to lay any information before a court of competent jurisdiction and to apply for a summons, warrant, search warrant, or such other legal process as may by law issue against any person.

27. ...

[S 27 rep by s 2(1) of Act 6 of 1997 w.e.f. 4 August 1997.]

[Note: Transitional provision (s 2(2) of Act 6 of 1997)].

(a) the record of finger-prints and convictions and sentences kept by the police pursuant to the repealed section 27 of the Police Force Act shall be deemed to be continued under the Criminal Procedure Code and shall continue to be kept by the police;

(b) any finger-prints, measurements and photographs taken by the police pursuant to the repealed section 27 shall be admissible in court in any criminal proceedings in the same way, for the same purpose and to the same extent that they would have been admissible before the repeal of the section.]

28. Power of police officers to inspect licences or permits.

(1) It shall be lawful for any police officer to stop and question any person whom he—

(a) sees doing any act or thing, or

(b) sees in possession of anything, or

(c) suspects of doing any act or thing or of being in possession of anything,

for which a licence or permit is required under the provisions of any law for the time being in force, and to require such person to produce his licence.

(2) Any person who refuses to comply with any lawful requirement of a police officer in the performance of his duty under this section, shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred rupees or to imprisonment not exceeding three months.

29. Duty of the Force to keep order on the public roads.

It shall be the duty of the Force to regulate and control traffic; to divert all or any particular kind of traffic when, in the opinion of the officer controlling the traffic, it is in the public interest to do so; to keep order on public roads, streets, thoroughfares and landing places, and at other places of public resort or places to which the public have access; and to prevent obstructions on the occasions of assemblies and processions on the public roads and streets, or in the neighbourhood of places of public worship during the time of worship and in any case when any road, street, thoroughfare or landing place may be thronged or liable to be obstructed.

30. Powers of Police officers to control movement of boats.

(1) It shall be lawful for any police officer to regulate and control the movement of plying boats and other small craft alongside quays, jetties, landing places and large vessels in the harbour of Victoria.

(2) Any person who refuses to comply with any lawful requirement of a police officer in the performance of his duty under this section, shall be guilty of an offence and, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred rupees or to imprisonment not exceeding three months.

31. Loitering.

Any person who, in any public place, loiters, stands or remains for such time or in such manner as shall have the effect of obstructing or disturbing the free use thereof and who fails to move on when ordered so to do by a police officer in uniform, shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred rupees or to imprisonment not exceeding three months.

32. Power to seize weapons.

Whenever any person goes armed with any weapon in public, without lawful excuse, in such manner as to cause or be likely to cause terror to any person, any police officer may seize and destroy such weapon. For the purposes of this section the word "weapon" means any weapon which is calculated or likely to cause harm to any person.

33. Power to use firearms.

(1) Any police officer may use any firearms which have been issued to him against—

(a) any person in lawful custody charged with or convicted of a felony when such person is escaping or attempting to escape;

(b) any person who by force rescues or attempts to rescue any other person from lawful custody;

(c) any person who by force prevents or attempts to prevent the lawful arrest of himself or of any other person:

Provided that resort shall not be had to any such firearms—

(i) as authorised under paragraph (a) unless such officer has reasonable grounds to believe that he cannot otherwise prevent the escape and unless he shall give a warning to such person that he is about to use such firearms against him and such warning is unheeded;

(ii) as authorised under paragraphs (b) and (c) unless such officer has reasonable ground to believe that he or any other person is in danger of grievous bodily harm and that he cannot otherwise effect such arrest or prevent such rescue:

Provided further that no police officer shall, in the presence of his Senior officer, use arms against any person except under the orders of such Senior officer:

and provided further that the use of firearms under this subsection shall as far as possible be to disable and not to kill.

(2) The authority vested in a police officer by subsection (1) shall be in addition to and not in substitution for any authority to use firearms vested in a police officer by any other law.

34. Non-liability for act done under authority of a warrant.

(1) When the defence to any suit instituted against a police officer is that the act complained of was done in obedience to a warrant purporting to be issued by a court or the Registrar of the Supreme Court or a Justice of the Peace, the court shall, upon production of the warrant containing the signature of the court, the Registrar or Justice of the Peace, and, upon proof that the act complained of was done in obedience to such warrant, enter judgement in favour of such police officer.

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