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Crimes Act 1961
Commenced: 1 Jan 1962
V: Crimes Against Public Order
Unlawful Assemblies, Riots, and Breaches of the Peace
Reading the Riot Act
88. Reading the Riot Act---(1) Where 12 or more persons are
unlawfully, riotously, and tumultuously assembled together in any place
to the disturbance of the public peace, any Magistrate or Justice may,
at the request of the senior member of the Police for the time being
acting in that place, go to the place where the assembly is, and, among
the rioters or as near to them as he can safely come, with a loud voice
command silence, and then, openly and with a loud voice, make or cause
to be made a proclamation in the following words, or to a like effect:
``Her Majesty the Queen commands all of you to disperse immediately
and to go quietly to your homes or to your lawful business, upon pain of
being charged with an offence punishable by imprisonment for 5 years.
``GOD SAVE THE QUEEN''
(2) All persons are liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5
(a) Wilfully and with force oppose, hinder, or hurt any person who
begins or is about to make or is making the said proclamation,
so that it is not made; or
(b) Continue together to the number of 12 or more for one hour after
the proclamation is made, or, if they know that its making was
hindered as aforesaid, for one hour after such hindrance.
(3) No person shall be prosecuted for any offence against this section
unless the prosecution is commenced within 12 months from the time when
the offence was committed.
Cf. 1908, No. 32, s. 103