(2) A person guilty of any other offence under this Act shall on
conviction on indictment be liable to imprisonment for a term not
exceeding ten years.
(1) This section applies to any offence under section 1(1)
above and any offence under section 2 or 3 above other than one involving a
threat by the person charged to destroy or damage property in a way which he
knows is likely to endanger the life of another or involving an intent by the
person charged to use or cause or permit the use of something in his custody
or under his control so to destroy or damage property.
(2) A person charged with an offence to which this section
applies shall, whether or not he would be treated for the purposes of this Act
as having a lawful excuse apart from this subsection, be treated for those
purposes as having a lawful excuse--
(a) if at the time of the act or acts alleged to constitute
the offence he believed that the person or persons whom he believed to be
entitled to consent to the destruction of or damage to the property in
question had so consented, or would have so consented to it if he or they
had known of the destruction or damage and its circumstances; or
(b) if he destroyed or damaged or threatened to destroy or
damage the property in question or, in the case of a charge of an offence
under section 3 above, intended to use or cause or permit the use of
something to destroy or damage it, in order to protect property belonging to
himself or another or a right or interest in property which was or which he
believed to be vested in himself or another, and at the time of the act or
acts alleged to constitute the offence he believed--
(i) that the property, right or interest was in immediate
need of protection; and
(ii) that the means of protection adopted or proposed to be
adopted were or would be reasonable having regard to all the
(3) For the purposes of this section it is immaterial whether a
belief is justified or not if it is honestly held.
(4) For the purposes of subsection (2) above a right or
interest in property includes any right or privilege in or over land, whether
created by grant, licence or otherwise.
(5) This section shall not be construed as casting doubt on any
defence recognised by law as a defence to criminal charges.
(1) If it is made to appear by information on oath before a
justice of the peace that there is reasonable cause to believe that any person
has in his custody or under his control or on his premises anything which
there is reasonable cause to believe has been used or is intended for use
without lawful excuse--
(a) to destroy or damage property belonging to another; or
(b) to destroy or damage any property in a way likely to
endanger the life of another,
the justice may grant a warrant authorising any constable to
search for and seize that thing.
(2) A constable who is authorised under this section to search
premises for anything, may enter (if need be by force) and search the premises
accordingly and may seize anything which he believes to have been used or to
be intended to be used as aforesaid.
(3) The Police (Property) Act 1897 (disposal of property in the
possession of the police) shall apply to property which has come into the
possession of the police under this section as it applies to property which
has come into the possession of the police in the circumstances mentioned in
(1) . . .
(2) No rule of law ousting the jurisdiction of magistrates'
courts to try offences where a dispute of title to property is involved shall
preclude magistrates' courts from trying offences under this Act, or any other
offences of destroying or damaging property.
A person shall not be excused, by reason that to do so may
incriminate that person or the wife or husband of that person of an offence
under this Act--
(a) from answering any question put to that person in
proceedings for the recovery or administration of any property, for the
execution of any trust or for an account of any property or dealings with
(b) from complying with any order made in any such
but no statement or admission made by a person in answering a
question put or complying with an order made as aforesaid shall, in
proceedings for an offence under this Act, be admissible in evidence against
that person or (unless they married after the making of the statement or
admission) against the wife or husband of that person.
(1) In this Act "property" means property of a tangible nature,
whether real or personal, including money and--
(a) including wild creatures which have been tamed or are
ordinarily kept in captivity, and any other wild creatures or their
carcasses if, but only if, they have been reduced into possession which has
not been lost or abandoned or are in the course of being reduced into
(b) not including mushrooms growing wild on any land or
flowers, fruit or foliage of a plant growing wild on any land.
For the purposes of this subsection "mushroom" includes any
fungus and "plant" includes any shrub or tree.
(2) Property shall be treated for the purposes of this Act as
belonging to any person--
(a) having the custody or control of it;
(b) having in it any proprietary right or interest (not being
an equitable interest arising only from an agreement to transfer or grant an
(c) having a charge on it.
(3) Where property is subject to a trust, the persons to whom
it belongs shall be so treated as including any person having a right to
enforce the trust.
(4) Property of a corporation sole shall be so treated as
belonging to the corporation notwithstanding a vacancy in the corporation.
(1) The common law offence of arson is hereby abolished.
(2)-(7) . . .
(8) The enactments mentioned in the Schedule to this Act are
hereby repealed to the extent specified in column 3 of that Schedule; and
where any such enactment has been applied by or incorporated in any other Act
the repeal shall extend so as to repeal that enactment as so applied or
(9) Where it appears to the Secretary of State that a local
statutory provision is inconsistent with or has become unnecessary in
consequence of this Act he may, after consultation with any person appearing
to him to be concerned with that provision, by order amend that provision so
as to bring it into conformity with this Act or repeal it.
In this subsection "local statutory provision" means a
provision of a local Act (including an Act confirming a provisional order) or
a provision of a public general Act passed with respect only to a particular
area or a particular undertaking or a provision of an instrument made under
any such local or public general Act or of an instrument in the nature of a
local enactment made under any other Act.
(10) An order made under this section shall be made by
statutory instrument which shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a
resolution of either House of Parliament.
(11) The repeal by this section or an order made thereunder of
any enactment relating to procedure or to the jurisdictional powers of any
court shall not affect the operation of that enactment in relation to offences
committed before the repeal takes effect or to proceedings for any such
(1) This Act shall come into force at the expiration of the
period of three months beginning with the day on which it is passed.
(2) This Act may be cited as the Criminal Damage Act 1971.
(3) - (6) ...