Sometimes people are asked by the Police to accompany them to a Police Station to “help with enquiries”.
You are within your rights to refuse to attend at the Police Station and assist with such enquiries. The Police have no power to force you to attend at a Police Station and any refusal to co-operate with the Police in these circumstances is not an offence.
In circumstances where the Police treat you as a suspect you must be cautioned. When the Police caution you must inform you that “You do not require to say anything, anything you do say will be noted or recorded and may be used in evidence”. Once you have been cautioned like this by the Police, you have the right not to say anything and remain silent. Your silence is not an offence and the Police are not entitled to criticise you for remaining silent. Your silence cannot be construed against you in Scotland.
There are four main categories of persons who can be taken to a Police Station by the Police namely: -
• Arrested Person
• A person being detained
• A person attending on a voluntary basis
Anyone who is believed to be a witness to a crime can be detained by the Police to enable the Police to confirm their name and address. Beyond this, the Police have no powers to force anyone to give them a witness statement. Apart from verifying your name and address you have a right to remain silent.
If you are asked to attend at a Police Station and you refuse to attend on a voluntary basis, the Police have three options open to them if you are deemed to be a suspect to a crime: -
• To detain you in terms of Section 14 of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995.
• You can be arrested and charged with a criminal offence.
• The Police can choose not to take any action against you.
It is important that you seek the advice of one of our Solicitors should any of the above circumstances arise. The above information is simply general advice and in some circumstances it may be of benefit to you to assist the Police with their enquiries. Whilst you are being detained by the Police or are kept in custody you are entitled to ask the Police to make contact with your Solicitor to allow you to obtain legal advice as to whether a statement should be given to the Police.