The Police Caution

Written 3rd November 2022 by Helen Buxton

When a person is interviewed at a police station either voluntarily or under arrest they are given the police caution.

You do not have to say anything but it may harm your defence if you fail to mention now something that you may later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence

This caution will be put to a voluntary interviewee prior to the commencement of the interview, a person under arrest will have already been cautioned when arrested and will be cautioned once again at the interview stage. The police caution is extremely important and should be thoroughly explained both by the solicitor representing and the interviewing officer. It is generally broken down into 3 parts.

You do not have to say anything:

Put simply, the person subject to the police interview cannot be forced to respond to the interviewing officer’s questions and can, if they wish, make no comment throughout.

But it may harm your defence if you fail to mention something that you may later rely on in court:

This is the most important of the 3 sections of the Police Caution. The options are as follows;

No Comment:

If the evidence is poor OR there is no reasonable account to put forward

Account Provided:

If denied OR the evidence is overwhelming and admissions would ensure full credit.

Prepared Statement:

This response provides an account but in a structured way, enabling the person being interviewed  to put forward only  what they wish to say and thereafter making no further comment.   This will often be advised in cases where the person is either a juvenile or who has mental health issues and feels unable to provide their account in a clear and concise manner.

Anything you do say may be given in evidence:

The interview will be audio recorded and in certain circumstances will also be video recorded.  If the case were to proceed to court, the recording can be referred to during the proceedings. Representation should always be requested regardless of the weight of evidence or the innocence of the interviewee so that they can receive proper and considered advice prior and throughout the course of the police interview.

What can we do for you?

Olliers Solicitors have significant expertise in representation at the police station for criminal allegations. As with any criminal investigation, those suspected of offending will benefit from early representation, particularly for voluntary police interviews. When a police interview is being dealt with voluntarily we are able to liaise with the officer dealing with a case to facilitate an interview at a time convenient to all and, more often than not, obtain advance disclosure of the particulars of the allegation and therefore arrange a meaningful conference prior to attendance at the police station, often providing the upper hand. If you have been contacted by the police to attend a voluntary interview please contact us on 0161 8341515 or
Helen Buxton

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