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20 Dos and Donts in the Police Station Custody Suite

Speaker: George Dugbo
Chambers: MB Defence Services

This essential toolkit for all criminal defence lawyers outlines a number of scenarios one may face at the police station – some frequent, and some not-so-familiar situations, as well as dealing with topics such as strip searches, which continue to make headlines. These include:

  1. Custody sergeant refuses you access to the custody record as he is busy
  2. Fitness to be interviewed
  3. Intimate and strip searches
  4. Advice of appropriate adult
  5. Appropriate adult (parent/guardian) is a potential witness
  6. Identification procedure
  7. OIC tells your client it would be quicker to deal with his/her case with a solicitor
  8. OIC accuses the solicitor of being obstructive and threatened to ask them to leave the interview
  9. You are an accredited or probationary representative and have been refused entry into custody
  10. The interviewing officer forgets to administer police caution prior to asking questions
  11. Interviewing officer asks irrelevant questions
  12. Interviewing officer asks multiple or unclear questions
  13. Interviewing officer misrepresented the law
  14. Interviewing officer putting words in the client’s mouth/making assumptions
  15. Interviewing officer mentioned the client’s previous convictions in interview
  16. During the interview, the interviewing officer is acting in an oppressive manner
  17. Interviewing officer asking hypothetical/speculative questions
  18. Interviewing officer puts questions to the client which would potentially attack the character of others
  19. Sufficient evidence to charge
  20. Solicitor is concerned about the client’s behaviour or conduct during interview