Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997

Offence of possession of syringe, etc., in certain circumstances and seizure thereof by member of Garda Síochána.

7

7. (1) A person who has with him or her in any place—

( a) a syringe, or

( b) any blood in a container,

intended by him or her unlawfully to cause or threaten to cause injury to or to intimidate another shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) A member of the Garda Síochána who has reasonable cause to suspect that a person has with him or her in a public place a syringe, or any blood in a container intended by him or her unlawfully to cause or to threaten to cause injury to or to intimidate another, may stop and question and if necessary (if need be by using reasonable force) search such person and the member may seize and detain any syringe or such container found on the person or in the immediate vicinity of the person, unless the person gives to the member reasonable excuse for having the syringe or container with him or her, and, where a syringe or such a container is so found, require the name and address of the person.

(3) A member of the Garda Síochána may arrest without warrant a person who—

( a) fails to stop when required under subsection ( 2), or

( b) fails or refuses to give his or her name or address when required under subsection ( 2) or gives a name or address which the member has reasonable cause to believe is false or misleading, or

( c) obstructs or attempts to obstruct the member or any person accompanying that member in the carrying out of the member's duties under subsection ( 2).

(4) A person who, without reasonable excuse, fails to stop or fails to give his or her name or address when required to under subsection ( 2) or gives a name or address which is false or misleading or obstructs or interferes with a member of the Garda Síochána acting under that subsection shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1,500 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or to both.

(5) In a prosecution for an offence under subsection ( 1), it shall not be necessary for the prosecution to allege or prove that the intent to threaten or cause injury to or intimidate was intent to threaten or cause injury to or intimidate a particular person; and if, having regard to all the circumstances (including the contents of the syringe, if any, the time of the day or night, and the place), the court (or the jury as the case may be) thinks it reasonable to do so, it shall regard possession of the syringe or container as sufficient evidence of intent in the absence of any adequate explanation by the accused.

(6) In this section “ blood” includes any fluid or substance resembling blood.

(7) A person guilty of an offence under subsection ( 1) shall be liable—

( a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £1,500 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both, or

( b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years or to both.