• Right to free and independent legal advice
  • Right to have someone told about your whereabouts
  • Right to medical attention if you are feeling ill
  • Right to see the rules the Police must follow – these are called ‘CODES OF PRACTICE’
  • Basic rights such as regular breaks for food, washing and to use the toilet

YOUTHS If you are under 17 the Police must arrange for an Appropriate Adult to attend the Police Station. This can be your mum, dad, family member or friend or someone appointed independently.

SEARCHES/SAMPLES Whilst in police custody you will be searched and your possessions will be taken from you and secured safely whilst you are placed in a cell.

The police have the right to take your fingerprints, photographs and a DNA sample. You cannot refuse to let them do this and it can be done with force.

Further intimate samples such as blood or urine require authority from a Senior Police Officer and your permission. You can refuse, but sometimes this can be held against you so take legal advice.

DETENTION The Police can hold you for up to 24 hours. However, if you are charged with a serious matter then this time limit can be extended with permission from a Superintendent or a court for a total of up to 96 hours.

Once your time has expired the Police MUST either release you or charge you.

INTERVIEW No doubt the Police will want to question you for the offence you have been arrested for. The interview will take place in a specially designed room with a tape recorder to record the interview. Before you are asked any questions the Police will caution you:-

’You do not have to say anything. However, it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.’

You can choose either to answer questions about the allegation in interview or not answer any questions, choosing rather to say no comment or write a short prepared statement setting out a limited defence.

AFTER INTERVIEW You will be detained for a short period whilst a decision is taken as to how the Police and the Prosecutor wish to proceed.

AFTER INTERVIEW – RELEASE WITHOUT CHARGE This can happen either because they are satisfied you were not involved in the offence or, they do not have enough evidence to charge you in which case you will either be bailed back to another date or you will have no further action taken against you.

AFTER INTERVIEW – RELEASE AFTER CHARGE (BAILED) If you have been charged you will be given a date and time to attend the Magistrates court for hearing. Please see MAGISTRATES COURT PROCEDURE for further guidance and BAIL so you understand your obligations.

AFTER INTERVIEW – RELEASE AFTER CHARGE (REMANDED INTO CUSTODY) You have a right to BAIL but if the Police feel that there are sufficient grounds to believe that you would fail to surrender to the custody of the court; that you would commit further offences whilst on bail; or that you would interfere with witnesses; then you will be remanded into custody to appear before the first available Magistrates court. You of course will be able to apply for bail at that hearing.

COMPLAINTS If you have a complaint to make about the way the Police have treated you, you can make a complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. You can find their contact details HERE.