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Police Custody: Legal Opinion

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 61151, tabled on 22 October 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 16 September 2021 to Question 48219, on Police Custody: Legal Opinion, with reference to social distancing rules, for what reason his Department decided to revise the protocol to facilitate the provision of remote legal advice for suspects being interviewed under caution in police stations during the covid-19 outbreak rather than return to the police station advice arrangements that were in place prior to that outbreak.

Answered on

27 October 2021

Rather than fully reverting to the pre-pandemic arrangements, the Joint Interim Interview Protocol allows for remote advice in very limited specified circumstances to provide flexibility where it is needed, for example, in a scenario where the detainee is confirmed or believed to be Covid positive. Final decisions about allowing remote advice will be made by an officer not below the rank of Superintendent. From 4 October 2021 the default position is that advice is provided to suspects by legal representatives in person during police interviews as was the case prior to the pandemic.

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