Why have I been asked to attend a Voluntary Police Interview?
Voluntary Police Interviews are used by police when conducting criminal investigations.
The police may ask you to attend as they have received complaint or an allegation that they wish to investigate and believe you may be involved.
You may get a knock at the door, a phone message or a card asking you to contact the police station and arrange a time to come in for an interview.
A Voluntary Police Interview that takes place at the police station, or in some circumstances in your home, will be under caution and anything you say may be used in evidence.
What is a Voluntary Police Interview?
A Voluntary Police Interview is conducted in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act.
The caution is administered at the start of the interview.
‘You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in Court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.’
The caution must be given if you are being questioned and there are reasonable grounds to suggest you may have committed an offence.
What you say is very important. The interview is recorded and may be used in Magistrates or Crown Court as part of the evidence.
If you omit any information or give incorrect information it would be very difficult for you to backtrack.
Do I have to attend the Voluntary Police Interview?
No, you are not under arrest and do not have to attend and can leave the interview at any time.
However the police may arrest you and conduct an interview while you are in custody.
Do I need to have a Solicitor?
No, however we strongly advise that you have a solicitor present.
You are entitled to free legal advice and representation during a voluntary interview. The exception is if you have previously had advice from a solicitor for the same matter.
With legal representation you will be better informed and may increase your chance of a better outcome.
Choosing to have a solicitor present does not make you look any more or less guilty but it does ensure that your rights as an individual are protected.
If you choose not to have legal representation the police are not obliged to give you details of the allegation before the interview and you may well go straight into questioning without the chance to prepare.
The police want to hear your version of events, establish any evidence from what you say because they want to decide whether there is a case against you.
What is the process if I instruct a Solicitor from Albin and Co?
We advise you to contact us as soon as you receive the request for a voluntary interview. We will liaise with the police on your behalf to set up a suitable venue, time and date.
On the day of the interview our solicitor will speak to the police officer and find out the details of the allegation. We will then listen to your version of events and advise you on the law and your rights in relation to the allegation.
This advice may be to answer questions, give a no comment response or put forward a prepared statement and to answer no comment to the questions.
It is your interview and we emphasise that this is advice and it is up to you whether you follow it.
If at any time during the interview we feel that the police are asking inappropriate questions we will object on your behalf. You can request advice from our solicitor at any time during the interview. If you would like to discuss a matter in private the recording will be stopped temporarily while we go into another room.
What happens after a voluntary police interview?
After the voluntary police interview there can be a wait of weeks or months before you hear anything further. As part of our service we will continue to liaise with the police and update you with any developments and inform you if there is no further action to be taken
If you are subject to arrest or a further ‘interview under caution’ the police will very likely bail you to return on a later date and will, in such cases, have the power to impose bail conditions.
How long do voluntary police interviews take?
The duration of an interview varies. They could typically take around 1-2 hours.
You are not required to take anything with you unless you have documents that are relevant to the investigation.
We can help you with the following interviews
- Military law
- Voluntary interviews
- National crime agency
- DWP – housing and benefit
- Job centre
- Environment agency
- Other regulatory agencies
What to do next
Please call 0118 957 4018 or contact us online if you or a friend or family member need legal representation.
Our duty police station solicitor can be contacted 24 hours a day on 07917 662 770