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Joe at the police station

Video animation of aspects of the process of dealing with suspects at the police station
After Joe is arrested, he is taken to the police station to be interviewed about his suspected involvement in the offence. There are rules governing Joe’s treatment in police custody, and he has certain rights. For example, Joe is entitled to have somebody made aware that he has been arrested, and that he is at the police station. He is also entitled to talk to a lawyer in private before he is interviewed, and to have them present during the interview. Joe and his lawyer must be told about the nature of the offence that the police are investigating and why Joe is suspected of having committed it. When Joe is interviewed, he must be cautioned.
This means that he is told that he is not required to answer the interview questions, but that it may harm his defence if he does not mention in interview something which he later relies on in court. He is also told that what he does say may be given in evidence. Joe’s lawyer’s job is to protect his interests. This means that the lawyer may intervene during the interview for a range of reasons. Depending on the circumstances, the lawyer might advise Joe not to answer a particular question, they might challenge the relevance of a line of questioning or they might ask for clarification of questions. Joe’s interview should be recorded.
This is to ensure that there is an accurate account of what is said.

We left Joe on the point of being arrested in town. In this animation we’re going to follow Joe, after his arrest, into the police station to learn about some aspects of police investigation of offences.

As you watch the animation, you’ll encounter some of the rules which govern how suspects are supposed to be treated.

Think about what these rules are for. For example:

(i) Why are suspects are entitled to consult a lawyer and why is this so important?

(ii) Why must Joe be cautioned?

(iii) Why is the recording of interviews so important?

Share your thoughts with your colleagues!

This article is from the free online

From Crime to Punishment: an Introduction to Criminal Justice

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