Re: Arrest Necessity
Would you care to be specific about which part of PACE was not followed? Section 24 provides that any constable can arrest a person who he reasonably suspects has committed or is about to commit a criminal offence and where the constable has reasonable grounds for believing the person's arrest is necessary. PACE provides for a number of Codes of Practice, the relevant one here being code G covering the statutory power of arrest by police officers. In paragraph 2.9 of the Code, there is an exhaustive list of the grounds on which arrest may be considered necessary. I'll pick out just a few which might just have been applicable in this case:
"(e) to allow the prompt and effective investigation of the offence or the conduct of the person in question ... when the suspect is found in possession of incriminating objects ...it is thought likely that the person may steal or destroy evidence ... there is a need to enter and search any premises occupied by the arrested person ... it is necessary to secure or preserve evidence in connection with a recordable offence."
Given that the alleged offence concerned the misue of computers, it goes without saying that the police would want to seize any computer or device likely to have been used to commit the alleged offence.
PACE also contains a system of checks and balances. Once the arresting officer had got his suspect back to the custody suite he would have to convince the custody sergeant that the grounds for arrest were justified. OK I admit this is a pretty low hurdle, but the custody sergeant has a statutory duty (section 37) to ensure these grounds are reasonable. The detained person can then ask to speak to a solicitor who would soon challenge any obvious abuse of the power of arrest.
Not saying that he should have been arrested, but I can't see any reason for thinking that PACE was not followed.