Police Questioning

During the course of investigating a crime the police will wish to question a number of people. These might be either suspects or whom the police believe are may be able to assist in their investigations.   This group of people are required to provide their particulars.

If the police do require their personal particulars, in general, the only information a person has to give to police is their name, date of birth, where they are residing, where they usually live and their business address.

A person is not required to provide a statement to police if they do not wish to.  This would not however proclude them from being summonsed to court to give evidence.

If a person is summonsed to give evidence against a close family member there are provisions in the Evidence Act that allows them to be excused from testifying.

Prior to being interviewed, a suspect must be cautioned by police. A typical caution would be; “ You are not obliged to say anything but whatever you do say will be recorded and may be used in evidence.”

When a suspect is interviewed by the police for a serious offence, all efforts must be made to have the interview recorded on video pursuant to the Summary Offences Act. 

Upon arrest a suspect is entitled to remain silent, have a friend or relative present or to seek legal advise from a solicitor.  If relevant, an interpreter may be present.

There is no obligation on a suspect to answer questions by the police. Everyone has the right to remain silent and if the matter goes to trial no prejudice can be caused by a person maintaining his/her right to silence.

It is incumbent upon the prosecution to prove the offence, the suspect does not have to prove their innocence.

You do not have to attend at a police station unless you have been arrested.

If you are uncertain about being interviewed by the police as a suspect, then it is wise to remain silent until you have sought legal advice.