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Bouverie House, Bouverie Rd W, Folkestone CT20 2SG
Folkestone Police Station
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How Long Can The Police Hold Someone In Custody?
The police's powers of detention in England are primarily set out under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE), This Act sets out the guidelines the police must follow when arresting, detaining, questioning, and charging suspects.
Length of Custody:
A person can be held in police custody for up to 24 hours before they must be charged or released.
Extension of Custody Period:
In certain serious cases, this detention period can be extended. An officer of the rank of superintendent can extend the 24-hour period to 36 hours if they have reasonable grounds for believing the detention is necessary to secure or preserve evidence. The detention can be further extended to 96 hours if authorised by a Magistrates' Court.
Grounds for Detention:
A person can be detained if they are suspected of committing an offense and the police believe that detention is necessary to secure or preserve evidence relating to that offence or to obtain evidence by questioning the detainee.
Initial detention is authorised by a custody officer at the police station. The decision to detain must be based on reasonable grounds. A higher ranking officer (a superintendent or above) or a Magistrates' Court may authorise extensions to the initial 24-hour period.
The detention of a suspect must be reviewed at regular intervals - the first review must be conducted within six hours of the original detention, and subsequent reviews must be conducted at intervals of no more than nine hours. The review of detention is done by an officer of the rank of inspector or above who is not directly involved in the investigation.
The relevant periods for detention are as mentioned above: 24 hours (initial period), 36 hours (extended by a senior officer), and 96 hours (authorised by a Magistrates' Court).
End of Detention:
Detention comes to an end either when the police charge the person with an offence, the person is released without charge, or the relevant detention period expires. A person can also be released on police bail, which means they're free to leave but with conditions (for instance, they might have to return to the station on a particular date).
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