Power to enter premises under warrant
(1) The Commission or any inspector may apply to a court for a warrant and the court may issue such a warrant if it is satisfied that —
(a) there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that there are, on any premises, documents —
(i) the production of which has been required under paragraph 1 or 2; and
(ii) which have not been produced as required;
(b) there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that —
(i) there are, on any premises, documents which the Commission or the inspector has power under paragraph 1 to require to be produced; and
(ii) if the documents were required to be produced, they would not be produced but would be concealed, removed, tampered with or destroyed; or
(c) an inspector or a person assisting the inspector has attempted to enter the premises in the exercise of his powers under paragraph 2 but has been unable to do so and that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that there are, on the premises, documents the production of which could have been required under that paragraph.
(2) A warrant under this paragraph shall authorise a named officer, and such other persons as the inspector may require to assist him, to do all or any of the following:
(a) to enter the premises specified in the warrant, using such force as is reasonably necessary for the purpose;
(b) to search any person on those premises if there are reasonable grounds for believing that that person has in his possession any document, equipment or article which has a bearing on the investigation;
(c) to search the premises and take copies of, or extracts from, any document appearing to be of a kind in respect of which the application under sub-paragraph (1) was granted (the relevant kind);
(d) to take possession of any document appearing to be of the relevant kind if —
(i) such action appears to be necessary for preserving the document or preventing interference with it; or
(ii) it is not reasonably practicable to take copies of the document on the premises;
(e) to take any other step which appears to be necessary for the purpose mentioned in sub-paragraph (d)(i);
(f) to require any person to provide an explanation of any document appearing to be of the relevant kind or to state, to the best of his knowledge and belief, where it may be found;
(g) to require any information which is stored in any electronic form and is accessible from the premises and which he considers relates to any matter relevant to the investigation, to be produced in a form —
(i) in which it can be taken away; or
(ii) in which it is visible and legible; and
(h) to remove from those premises for examination any equipment or article which relates to any matter relevant to the investigation.
(3) If, in the case of a warrant under sub-paragraph (1)(b), the court is satisfied that it is reasonable to suspect that there are also on the premises other documents relating to the investigation concerned, the warrant shall also authorise the actions mentioned in sub-paragraph (2) to be taken in relation to any such document.
(4) Where possession of any document is taken under sub-paragraph (2)(d) or (3), the named officer may, at the request of the person from whom possession of the document was taken, provide such person with a copy of the document.
(5) A named officer may allow any equipment or article which has a bearing on an investigation and which may be removed from any premises for examination under sub-paragraph (2)(h) to be retained on those premises subject to such conditions as the named officer may require.
(6) A warrant issued under this paragraph shall —
(a) indicate the subject-matter and purpose of the investigation; and
(b) continue in force until the end of the period of one month beginning from the day on which it is issued.
(7) The powers conferred by this paragraph shall not be exercised except upon production of a warrant issued under this paragraph.
(8) Any person entering any premises by virtue of a warrant under this paragraph may take with him such equipment as appears to him to be necessary.
(9) If there is no one at the premises when the named officer proposes to execute such a warrant, he shall, before executing it —
(a) take such steps as are reasonable in all the circumstances to inform the occupier of the intended entry; and
(b) if the occupier is informed, afford him or his legal or other representative a reasonable opportunity to be present when the warrant is executed.
(10) If the named officer is unable to inform the occupier of the intended entry, he shall, when executing the warrant, leave a copy of the warrant in a prominent place on the premises.
(11) On leaving any premises which he has entered by virtue of a warrant under this paragraph, the named officer shall, if the premises are unoccupied or the occupier is temporarily absent, leave them as effectively secured as he found them.
(12) Any document of which possession is taken under sub-paragraph (2)(d) or (3) may be retained for a period of not more than 3 months.
“named officer” means an inspector named in the warrant;
“occupier”, in relation to any premises, means a person whom the inspector reasonably believes is the occupier of those premises.