Blackstone’s : A Practical Guide to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984


Having been sat behind a desk for the most part of my time as Temporary Inspector, returning to the street as a Sergeant was a pleasure, but it also posed some challenges around relearning “my craft”. This was further compounded by several members of my team actively studying for their promotion exams.

The last time I had studied for my promotion exams was back in 2008/09 and while I would like to think that I had a pretty good grasp of law, of course things do fade.

So to help me not only rebuild some of my “craft” (as knowledge not only provides power but instils confidence), but also to be ahead of my team – I purchased myself a copy of Blackstone’s; A Practical Guide to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (Fourth Edition).

Well – I wish I had purchased this years ago. Not only is it a guide to PACE, but it provides real working examples, ensuring that the complexities sometimes encountered in PACE are broken down step by step. There is a distinct bias towards the application of the legislation without ignoring the vital aspects of the Act.

The book is well structured, providing an easy read and quick “turn to guide” for anyone who wishes to gain a greater understanding of PACE. Recommended by me to student officers, long in the tooth officers and supervisors who need to brush up on their knowledge.

Don’t get me wrong this is not a short or quick fix book, with 680 pages it is a comprehensive guide, but what it doesn’t do is over-complicate what is sometimes already a rather “dry” subject area.

Why did I not give it 5 stars, well simply because priced at around £30 it is not cheap, albeit a decent quality book, and with PACE changing so regularly – it would be great to be able to have a book which is a lower yearly subscription cost – but updated regularly (like to old version of Hughes Guide). Alternative an electronic version would be great too, if it were updated regularly.