Home > Government & Legislation > Your Rights If Suspected of a Crime

Your Rights If Suspected of a Crime

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 7 Mar 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Police Suspect Rights Police Station

There are number of rules and regulations regarding your rights if you are suspected of a crime. If the police do suspect someone they also have a number of powers and rights as set out in codes of practice.

Powers of the Police

If the police suspect a person has committed an offence they do have a number of legal powers. The police and the actual rights of the suspects are set out in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984. If the police have reasonable suspicion that an offence has been or may be committed they do have the power to stop, detain, and search a member of the public and their vehicle. The public should always ask why the search is taking place. If the police do not have good reason then the search should not continue.

Grounds for Suspicion

Police officers need to have reasonable suspicion before they can stop and search a member of the public. If an officer simply has an instinct then that is not justifiable enough to commence a stop and search, although it may warrant justifiable observation of a suspect. Reasonable suspicion can include observing a person acting suspiciously enough to warrant a stop and search.

Searches and Discrimination

Searches by the police must be undertaken responsibly and fairly. The power to stop and search can and has been abused by the police in the past, and this can be an infringement of the public’s rights. Any type of discrimination that is used in the stop and search process can be deemed unlawful discrimination. The police cannot discriminate on the grounds of race, colour or nationality. They also cannot discriminate against certain groups such as football fans, although this does happen.

Legal Rights of Suspects

The police also have a right, if they suspect someone of a crime, to arrest the person and take them to the police station. Suspects can refuse to go to the police station if they have not actually been arrested. They can also confiscate a person’s personal belongings, although this must be undertaken in front of the suspect and recorded. The suspect should receive the belongings back with a list of the belongings before they leave the station.

At the Police Station

Suspects also have the right to notify someone that they are being held in the police station. If a search is to take place then the suspect has the right to ask to be searched by someone of the same sex. If the police do question a suspect the suspect is not under any obligation to answer. However, not answering questions can be used in evidence if the case comes to court.

Detainment at the Station

The rights of suspects detained at police stations are set out in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE). There is a code of practice that determines the rights and powers of both the police and the suspects on detention at the police station. The officers at the station must recognise the suspect’s rights and these will include:

  • The right to medical treatment if it is warranted
  • The right to an interpreter to check documentation if needed
  • The right to let someone know where the suspect is
  • The right to legal advice from a solicitor
  • The right to refrain from answering police questions
  • The right to decent conditions while in detainment including access to toilets, washing facilities and clean bedding
  • The right to be dealt with as quickly as possible and released as soon as possible
  • Suspects must be allowed at least eight hours of continuous sleep in any 24 hour period

The Interview Process

If the police are to interview a suspect at the station then there are some rules that apply. Interviews should always take place in the police station, although special circumstances apply. The suspect should be told why they are being interviewed and the nature of the offence. A record should be made of the interview and this can be either written or recorded on videotape. Suspects have the right to read or see the interview after it has been recorded.

Further information on the rights of suspects can be found in the PACE codes of practice. If any of the above rights have been infringed or breached then a complaint should be made to the local police station. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) can also be contacted regarding complaints against the police.

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After giving CPR. The lady I found was round and boiled in bath. I called medics. Police also came. I was arrested on suspicion of murder. Was not permitted to speak to lawyer and was not permitted to sleep. After 24 hrs I was released with no charges and was handed a a to give to my GP because I had a traumatic experience. Why was I not permitted a layer? And no sleep before going into a lengthy interview?
Yogi - 7-Mar-17 @ 11:29 AM
My right have been abuse for the last 15 years I can't get a job am followed 24/7 my phone listen to and my Data block with I leave my home is broken into and thing are broke and at night I can go outside and it so bright that you can read the news paper easy it go on and on I can't live my life because of it
N/ A - 28-Feb-17 @ 6:06 AM
Neilio - Your Question:
I was made aware whilst in Thailand that police in the UK wanted to talk to me. I contacted them, sent them a copy of my passport and promised to contact them when I next visited the UK. When I booked my next flight to the UK I sent police copies of my air tickets so I could be interviewd on arrival. The flight was 2:30 am. I was up all day the previous day as I had a lot to do and never got any sleep before my flight. I snore loudly so I couldn't sleep on the flight only got two hours in dubai airport whilst in transit. On arrival I was arrested by the police before interview whixch was a shock. I was so tired I just wanted to get it over with and go home. I waived legal representation and answered the questions. I think this was a poor choice on my behalf due to sleep deprivation. Given the police knew I was exhausted and my flight alone was 19.5hours. Was this interview lawful?

Our Response:
Yes it sounds as though it was probably lawful. You were given the opportunity of legal representation so it sounds as though the correct protocol was followed.
CivilRightsMovement - 14-Feb-17 @ 1:53 PM
I was made aware whilst in Thailand that police in the UK wanted to talk to me. I contacted them, sent them a copy of my passport and promised to contact them when I next visited the UK. When I booked my next flight to the UKI sent police copies of my air tickets so I could be interviewd on arrival. The flight was 2:30 am. I was up all day the previous day as I had a lot to do and never got any sleep before my flight. I snore loudly so I couldn't sleep on the flight only got two hours in dubai airport whilst in transit. On arrival I was arrested by the police before interview whixch was a shock. i was so tired I just wanted to get it over with and go home. I waived legal representation and answered the questions. i think this was a poor choice on my behalf due to sleep deprivation. Given the police knew I was exhausted and my flight alone was 19.5hours. Was this interview lawful?
Neilio - 13-Feb-17 @ 1:03 PM
Pls help lol - Your Question:
Hi, please could you give me some advice regarding a very distressing situation that happened on nye 2017.I was at my home address with my partner and another couple it was roughly 3am, we were all playing cards/pictionary with music on low/medium vol (This is the exact situation) we were winding down, anyway next thing there are 2 massive bangs on the door, I go to the door and ask who it is replied by its the police open up, I then ask them why they are hear and they say there's been a disturbance open up I asked if they had a warrant they said no, I basically said its nye its late I don't know what your on about but whatever I'm not letting you in, with that one of the poilce officers kicks my door twice, I open the door to be pushed away by a policeman and he enters and proceeds to walk into every room in my flat,There are now 3 more police officers (4 in total) surrounding me and everyone else in the flat I'm now very agitated and shouting why are you here get out get out, not once is any of them explaining or trying to cool the situation, I get pushed once again in my living room so I immediately get my phone and start recording, I ask for his name and number which he says he's not telling me I ask why he's here which he doesn't tell me then he pushes my phone away with that I get quite heated and sort of keep edging them towards my door askwhy they are here and saying get out etc etc, very stressful 5 mins, and totally unessary, feel really pissed off. Ive lodged a complaint but I feel that I will get fobed off and get told it was all allowed under such and such act or power.Can any please help me with my direction to take, or even just tell me I have no chance against them

Our Response:
We can't advise on this sort of thing as we don't have all the details. You may be better to seek advice from a legal professional. The fact that you refused to let the police and became agitated is probably what made the situation worse.
CivilRightsMovement - 5-Jan-17 @ 12:42 PM
Hi, please could you give me some advice regarding avery distressing situation that happened on nye 2017.... I was at my home address with my partner and another couple it was roughly 3am, we were all playing cards/pictionary with music on low/medium vol (This is the exact situation) we were winding down, anyway next thing there are 2 massive bangs on the door, I go to the door and ask who it is replied by its the police open up, I then ask them why they are hear and they say there's been a disturbance open up I asked if they had a warrant they said no, I basically said its nye its late I don't know what your on about but whatever I'm not letting you in, with that one of the poilce officers kicks my door twice, I open the door to be pushed away by a policeman and he enters and proceeds to walk into every room in my flat, There are now 3 more police officers (4 in total) surrounding me and everyone else in the flat I'm now very agitated and shouting why are you here get out get out, not once is any of them explaining or trying to cool the situation, I get pushed once again in my living room so I immediately get my phone and start recording, I ask for his name and number which he says he's not telling me I ask why he's here which he doesn't tell me then he pushes my phone away with that I get quite heated and sort of keep edging them towards my door askwhy they are here and saying get out etc etc, very stressful 5 mins, and totally unessary, feel really pissed off.. Ive lodged a complaint but I feel that I will get fobed off and get told it was all allowed under such and such act or power.. Can any please help me with my direction to take, or even just tell me I have no chance against them
Pls help lol - 4-Jan-17 @ 7:53 PM
How do I request a copy of my cctv interview?
John2017 - 30-Jun-16 @ 2:41 PM
Why did it take 14 police to arrest one man who was with his 8 year old son on a Saturday night after they took his sister away.
The truth. - 30-May-16 @ 8:22 PM
Someone has made a malicious complaint to the police are they obliged to tell me what the complaint was?
MUG - 18-Apr-16 @ 11:16 AM
What is the law where harassment is concerned , are warnings supposed to be given first and are you entitled to go in for voluntary interview for such a petty offence over a few text messages
taffy59 - 4-Apr-16 @ 9:02 AM
crf250 - Your Question:
I had a policeman throw his asp baton at my motorcycle when I was riding along at 15-20 mph. Everyone I speak to say I could have died or be very bad hurt. The reason he did it was because the police pnc system was 3 months not updated. I had broken ribs and locked in a cell for 10 hours. Has any motorcycle rider or anybody had a British police officer do what I just said this happened in October 2015. Is this wrong they do this to me?

Our Response:
Did you fail to stop when requested?
CivilRightsMovement - 8-Feb-16 @ 2:11 PM
I had a policeman throw his asp baton at my motorcycle when I was riding along at 15-20 mph . Everyone I speak to say I could have died or be very bad hurt. The reason he did it was because the police pnc system was 3 months not updated. I had broken ribs and locked in a cell for 10 hours. Has any motorcycle rider or anybody had a British police officer do what i just said this happened in October 2015 . Is this wrong they do this to me?
crf250 - 5-Feb-16 @ 11:45 PM
Hi, my ex employer has written an untruthful reference that prevented me from getting a job. In this reference they claim that a client made a complaint to the police about me and that the police came and interviewed my manager but then dropped the case. I knew nothing about this ever and do not believe it ever happened, is this scenario even plausible? Is it possible that the police would not even interview the suspect of a complaint, but would instead take their managers word about what had happened and then drop everything on that basis? Can I ask the police station involved to give me a copy of any complaints made about me, or would they not even have this information if an interview, arrest or caution etc never took place? My career is ruined unless I can get this sorted out.
none - 15-Jan-16 @ 8:47 PM
I was arrested under suspicion of a Violent robbery. I don't know how they got to this. Anyway I got arrested my belongings put into a bag. When I got my iPhone 6s back it had a smashed screen. I am currently trying to get compensation. I am a law abiding citizen who earns my own money to buy nice things. For police to break my possessions is out of order. Haven't had this phone for 2 months yet.
Anon - 6-Nov-15 @ 7:09 AM
Hi, I was arrested last night for a non appearance at coart while I was in custody I was woken up every hour and every hour I asked to be left to sleep this never happened when I questioned the desk Sargent in the morning I was given no reply I told them this was against my rights and amounted to sleep deprivation am I correct for being upset about this ?
Rodgy92 - 26-Oct-15 @ 9:34 PM
If detained by the police and released after 24 hour can you still be detained again for the same case
Jc - 15-Jul-15 @ 10:22 PM
I was attacked by guys while I was working as a pizza driver they injured me but my life was safe after that when I call police they came an starts investigation but at the end they told me that leave your job we can't find that guys I left my job and when I went to job centre they need reason of leaving job which I said that police can't find the attacker but advice me to leave the job after that until now I believe that under cover police tortures me by indirect discriminate me every where to giving wrong statement against me now I apply for job then every one running from me painic from me even my neighbour also I m feeling not good that with out a reason you start torture the people now I decided to take lawyer and take my case to court and I hope I will get positive respond form court and good justice the failure of police is not my fault but this is not fair to take revenge against me I decided for future to starts study law to protect my self from racist police persons
Ali - 14-Jun-15 @ 11:36 PM
@Becks. It would be worth seeking advice from the CAB or from your local autistic association for relevant information regarding your nephew's specific case.
CivilRightsMovement - 6-May-15 @ 12:17 PM
My autistic nephew was beaten by a 40 something year old man at the weekend and had to go to hospital as a result of his injuries. Since then he has not had any police support and is in fact being labeled as a suspect. The man who beat him is claiming my nephew threw a brick at the house and had to hold my nephew down and his son hit my nephew. We were told my nephew would be interviewed and nobody has been in touch. We have also been told not to keep asking questions as the sergeant will take as long as he needs to look into this, so stop calling up the station. Surely this is not correct?
Becks - 28-Apr-15 @ 6:24 PM
I was arrested and cuffed, taken to police station, held all night,denied a cup, had breakfast witheld because of interview, had interview halted and returned to cell, then interviewed with ex copper as my representative. Never been in trouble before. Ex-Publican unable to eork due to post traumatic stress disorder whereby attacked as I slept with big knife in public house. Officer recognised me from lodging a hate-crime months earlier only to nfa that. Wpc said the wrench I have in my bicycle repair kit could be used to break in to places. Ended up in magistrates, judge not to happy to see this case before him. Grounds given for stop and search? Apparently increased burglaries in the area(not according to polices own crime plan which showed a slightdecrease in that crime for that area).Then the police went to my house and found cannabis resin. With st value of £15.It was not mine.But this was seen as reason enough to turn me into a criminal? Advised by my 'brief' to not worry about the cannabis as the police found £790 in a cup in a storage room.Cant go to Australia to be with family now. Must stay here alone.
doovoodoll - 17-Feb-15 @ 6:36 PM
'If the police do question a suspect the suspect is not under any obligation to answer. However, not answering questions can be used in evidence if the case comes to court.' Is this correct? As far as I know it's the opposite, if the suspect ANSWER questions without a lawyer present, it can be used as evidence against him. I don't understand.
tfhd - 19-May-14 @ 7:36 PM
If someone is arrested on suspicion of drink-driving, do they have the right to consult with a solicitor and/or read PACE / Police Code of Conduct before providing further evidence (e.g. Evidential breath/blood sample)? Surely if that evidence can be used to prosecute, the arrested person should know their rights in respect of their custody before being "forced" to provide evidence before hand ?
AndyW - 31-Jan-13 @ 9:52 PM
I would endorse the above comments. Police powers are continually increasing as documented in the article, and as their powers increase so does abuse of them. The laws on summary arrest for example are abused all the time by police. They arrest willy nilly without REASONABLE suspicion that an offence has occurred and in so doing abuse PACE G which says that any arrest must be properly necessary and not based on suspicion only but a reasoned suspicion that offending has occurred. Under those circumstances where there is a paucity of evidence police are obliged to consider means of investigation other than arrest but they don't. Domestic violence allegations are a case in point. Police operate an unwritten, sexist and illegal policy of 'arrest the male' when any allegations are made notwithstanding the complete lack of evidence that may exist in some situations or even evidence that a female accuser is lying. My position is don't trust the police, ever and only talk to them with a solicitor present and say 'no comment' anyway. They might then heed the lesson that nobody trusts them any more and that they no longer police us by consent.
EddietheEagle - 7-Dec-12 @ 10:57 AM
What this whole page makes clear is that you have damn few rights and where you think you might have then a law has already been introduced or soon will be introduced to destroy that right. What this article demonstrates is that the rights of the police to take total control of you at random overrideds any pretend rights you might think you have when it comes to dealing with them. In my opinion we are all living in an Orwellian UK police state only it hasn't dawned on most of us yet and why should it given the propaganda that the media churns out day after day. If I was working for an Orwellian state this is the sort of article I would write but however you b/s it still becomes clear that you have practically no rights when it comes to dealing with the members acting on behalf of the government and state i.e. the police.
biglass - 17-Aug-12 @ 9:55 PM
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