Obstruct/resist a police constable in execution of duty (Revised 2017)

Police Act 1996, s.89(2)
Effective from: 24 April 2017

Triable only summarily:
Maximum: Level 3 fine and/or one month
Offence range: Conditional Discharge – Medium level community order

User guide for this offence


Step 1 – Determining the offence category

The Court should determine the offence category using the table below.

Category 1      Higher culpability and greater harm

Category 2      Higher culpability and lesser harm or lower culpability and greater harm 

Category 3      Lower culpability and lesser harm

The court should determine the offender’s culpability and the harm caused with reference only to the factors below. Where an offence does not fall squarely into a category, individual factors may require a degree of weighting before making an overall assessment and determining the appropriate offence category.

CULPABILITY demonstrated by one or more of the following:

Factors indicating higher culpability

  • Deliberate obstruction or interference
  • Use of force, aggression or intimidation
  • Group action

Factors indicating lower culpability

  • All other cases

 HARM demonstrated by one or more of the following:

Factors indicating greater harm

  • Offender’s actions significantly increase risk to officer or other(s)
  • Offender’s actions result in a suspect avoiding arrest
  • Offender’s actions result in a significant waste of resources

Factors indicating lesser harm

  • All other cases