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Dawn Raids

If you or your company is subject to a ‘dawn raid’, you should seek immediate legal advice. We operate a 24 hour service and if the visit is ongoing we can give practical advice and attend your premises immediately to protect your interests.

An unannounced visit from the police or other investigatory body is not only an extremely unpleasant experience but it can have a hugely disruptive impact on the life of an individual or their business. The term “dawn raid” essentially means the unannounced visit from an investigator whether police officers, the Serious Fraud Office, the Financial Conduct Authority, HMRC, Trading Standards, the Health and Safety Executive or other investigatory body.  They will be operating under powers granted by the court but also by statute which allow for the seizure of material relevant to an investigation. Warrants can be obtained to search premises not only of those under suspicion but of third parties who may not be the subject of an investigation.

How can Olliers assist if I face a dawn raid?

If an individual finds that they or their business is subject to a dawn raid they need to act quickly and seek immediate representation. Our legal team can quickly establish the legality of any visit together with the scope of any orders in the possession of investigators. We can attend and supervise a search.  We can establish an immediate dialogue with those leading the investigation.

We can advise on dealing with media, together with client and employee issues following the search. We specialise in crisis management.

Where applicable we can pursue the prompt return of items taken at the time of the search.  We can also advise where material may be subject to legal privilege.

Olliers can also advise if Restraint Orders flow from any raid as is often the case.

We can secure the return of material seized or at least copies or require that documentation be copied under the provisions of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

What should I do if I face a dawn raid?

If you or your business is the subject to a dawn raid you need to act quickly and we would suggest you do the following:

  • Make a record of everything that happens.
  • Note the time of the arrival of the police.
  • Closely scrutinise documentation produced by investigators. For example warrants are not all encompassing, they are restricted to particular premises, time periods, documentation and items sought.
  • Ensure that you check the identification of all officers present.
  • Buy yourself time and request that they await the arrival of your legal representative.
  • Copy all documentation in their possession especially notices, warrants and search records.
  • Ensure you have full contact details of all officers.
  • Make sure that no employees are questioned by the police.
  • Shadow as many officers as you can.
  • Where possible photograph any equipment taken by the police.
  • Ensure that all items taken are fully receipted.

Olliers Solicitors – Business Defence

Above all else, contact your legal representative at the first opportunity. Olliers provide an immediate response in these situations and our services are available 24 hours a day. If you or your business is affected by a dawn raid please contact us by email at info@olliers.com or by telephone on 0161 8341515.

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