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Cautions

Volume 455: debated on Friday 26 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many prosecutions were dropped in (a) Essex police force area, (b) Southend police area and (c) England and Wales as a result of the alleged offender not being cautioned by the arresting officer before being (i) questioned and (ii) a written statement being taken in each of the last five years for which information is available; what steps he (A) has taken and (B) plans to take to remind police officers of the requirement to caution an alleged offender before questioning or taking a written statement; and if he will make a statement; (117239)

(2) under what legislation an offender is required to be cautioned by the arresting officer before (a) being questioned about an alleged offence and (b) required to make a written statement; and if he will make a statement.

The information requested is not available as the individual circumstances of prosecutions are not centrally collected on the Court Proceedings Database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform.

Powers relating to the conduct of police investigations are governed by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984, and the accompanying Codes of Practice. The Code of Practice for the Detention, Treatment and Questioning of Persons by Police Officers (PACE Code C), the Code of Practice on Audio Recording Interviews with Suspects (PACE Code E) and the Code of Practice on Visual Recording with Sound of Interviews with Suspects (PACE Code F) provide clear guidance to the police on the requirements for cautioning suspects in relation to interviews and written statements and formally recording the giving of the caution. The PACE codes are subject to regular review and revision. PACE Code C was last revised in July 2006 and PACE Codes E and F were last revised in January 2006.