Frequently Asked Questions by Members of the Public - Part 1
1, Do I need a Solicitor?
Yes you do. Please see below:-
2. Can I get police station representation free? Yes. See below.
3. I have been arrested and want to get in contact with the investigating officer. How do I do that?
If you have been arrested and released from the police station you need to find out the name and warrant number of the investigating officer. This will generally be on any paperwork that you were given by the police when you are released. If you ring 101 with the name and warrant number of the investigating officer and ask for the police force where you were dealt with you will generally be able to leave a message for the officer. Please note that most police officers work shifts and may not be at work. Leave your details and telephone number and generally the police officer will get back to you. Be polite and kind! These calls are routinely recorded by the police as a matter of routine,
4. I need to get my mobile phone/property back from the police. How do I do that?
If you have been arrested the police may well have seized your property as an exhibit. In the case of a mobile phone they may wish to download the contents of the mobile phone for evidential purposes. They may have requested the PIN number for the phone from you. Police have powers under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act to seize these items and to keep them till any court case. There is no formal time limit. Officers will, however, return items as soon as possible if they are no longer needed. Please note this can be after a considerable period of time. In some police areas there are considerable delays in downloading the contents of mobile phones ranging in months. Please note the police can not be forced to give these items back quickly. It is possible to make an application to the Magistrates Court to get these items back but this is not covered by legal aid and you would have to pay for any representation by a solicitor.
5. My friend/partner/colleague/family member has been arrested. How do I find out about the case?
If the person who has been arrested is over 18 the police do not have to tell you anything about what has happened; why he/she has been arrested or details about the case. When arrested and being booked into custody the police will inform the detainee that he has a right to have someone informed of his arrest. This right will usually be exercised when they tell the person concerned which police station he is in. You can ask the police if he is legally represented and the details of the solicitor. The solicitor may be able to give you details of the case but ONLY if the person detained consents in advance. If the person does not consent you will have to ask the person concerned the details when he is released from police custody.
This article is written by Robert Cashman, a practicing criminal solicitor with a national firm of Criminal Solicitors. It does not purport to be a exact statement of English law but for guidance only and you should always get independent legal advice about your specific situation.
Robert can be contacted via https://www.policestationagent.com/