Are remote police stations here to stay? 

Written 23rd June 2020 by Helen Buxton

Olliers’ Helen Buxton considers the advantages of conducting attendance at the police station on a remote basis 

Under Code C of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 detained persons have a right to consult privately with a solicitor throughout their detention.

Since the unwelcome arrival of Covid-19 in March, legal representation at the police station has changed dramatically and new practices have now been implemented.

How is legal advice given at the police station remotely?

Whereas previously officers would request solicitors’ attendance once ready for interview, they will now email the disclosure.  Once considered, a call is made to custody who will then facilitate a private consultation between the detained person and the legal representative. Despite this being conducted remotely, the client is still afforded first class legal advice and is fully prepared for the interview.

Once advice has been provided, the process is a lot quicker as there is no waiting around and the officers can proceed to the interview process ensuring that the legal advisor can be present remotely via loudspeaker.

This is definitely a positive as it does reduce the waiting time for both the detained person and the interviewing officers and therefore speeds up the whole process with regard to decision making.

When is a ‘face to face’ attendance still necessary?

Although this has proven to be a successful and efficient alternative, in certain circumstances nothing can replace face to face advice and presence during the interview .

For example, if the case is extremely complex, and may require the viewing of numerous evidential exhibits,  if the person in custody is a juvenile and therefore more vulnerable than an adult, or if there are clear mental health issues.

As the year progresses it will be interesting to see if these new procedures will stay or if we will revert to procedures in place prior to the pandemic. Only time will tell.

Can Olliers help me if I have been asked to attend at the police station?

Absolutely. If you have been asked to attend a police station for a voluntary police interview or an interview under caution we will be happy to arrange representation. Please compete the form below and we will contact you to discuss your case in greater detail.

Helen Buxton

Helen Buxton



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