Evidence Obtained Improperly During The Police Interviews

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A lawful arrest of an individual indicates a legal ‘condition’ of the arrested individual. Likewise, a subsequent detention of an individual at a police station brings about a legal ‘consequence’. For example, confinement, which under other circumstances would amount to a false imprisonment, will lawfully restrict the individuals’ privacy and freedom of movement but it also creates legal obligations on police officers. In relation to the detention, treatment and questioning of suspects, parts 4 and 5 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 are applicable, along with Code of Practice C: The Detention, Treatment and Questioning of Persons by Police Officers. The conduct however, of police officers, has at times been put under scrutiny by the courts, particularly under s.76 and s.78 of PACE. Under s.36(7), where a suspect is taken into a non-designated police station, any police officer present may assume the role of the custody officer although, this should not be done by the police officer investigating the case wherever possible. If this does happen and cannot be avoided, then the officer who took the suspect to the police station or any other police officer may assume the role of the custody officer, however, the arresting officer must inform an officer of at least the rank of inspector as soon as possible in accordance with s.36(9) and s.36(10). Under s.37, the custody officer must determine if there is enough evidence to charge the suspect, and if it is decided that there is cause to charge the suspect, the custody officer may detain that person for as long as necessary for that particular purpose. If not, the suspect must either be released on bail or without bail [7] . Code C of PACE covers the rights and acts as a safeguard to detained suspects, particularly sections 2 and 3 regarding the issue of custody records. Firstly, the detainee has the right to have someone informed of the arrest, for example a partner or family member. Secondly, the suspect has the right to be given legal advice [8] , that is; a solicitor, or appropriate adult must be permitted to consult a detainee’s custody record as soon as practicable after their arrival at the station and at any other time whilst the person is detained. Arrangements for this access however must be agreed with the custody officer and may not unreasonably interfere with the custody officer’s duties. Finally, they have the right to consult the Codes of Practice attached to PACE. When interviewing vulnerable persons, the interview itself cannot take place without an appropriate adult being present [9] . Whilst PACE and the Codes of Practice contain a number of provisions designed and put in place to protect the rights of persons within police custody, there are further measures available to ensure that suspects that are deemed to be vulnerable are subject to additional safeguards. These include suspects that are juveniles, persons with mental disorders, blind persons, foreign persons and those who are unable to understand English. Section 38 of PACE provides that once a person has been arrested the custody officer has to decide on one of four options that the suspect may either be released on bail or without bail,

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