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Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 23 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance her Department has issued to the police on dealing with people who voluntarily present themselves at police stations to help police with enquiries. (192249)

Code C issued under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984 is the code of practice for the detention, treatment and questioning of persons by police officers. Persons who attend the police station voluntarily must be offered refreshments at appropriate times and if they are not arrested but are cautioned, informed that they have the right to obtain free legal advice. There are no restrictions on the ability of the person to make contact with people outside the police station. The code also requires that any person who is arrested at the police station having attended voluntarily must be brought before the custody officer as soon as possible after their arrest. The custody officer is then responsible for opening a custody record for the individual and ensuring that the relevant provisions and safeguards in PACE are applied.