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Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

58Access to legal advice

(1)A person arrested and held in custody in a police station or other premises shall be entitled, if he so requests, to consult a solicitor privately at any time.

(2)Subject to subsection (3) below, a request under subsection (1) above and the time at which it was made shall be recorded in the custody record.

(3)Such a request need not be recorded in the custody record of a person who makes it at a time while he is at a court after being charged with an offence.

(4)If a person makes such a request, he must be permitted to consult a solicitor as soon as is practicable except to the extent that delay is permitted by this section.

(5)In any case he must be permitted to consult a solicitor within 36 hours from the relevant time, as defined in section 41(2) above.

(6)Delay in compliance with a request is only permitted—

(a)in the case of a person who is in police detention for a serious arrestable offence; and

(b)if an officer of at least the rank of superintendent authorises it.

(7)An officer may give an authorisation under subsection (6) above orally or in writing but, if he gives it orally, he shall confirm it in writing as soon as is practicable.

(8)An officer may only authorise delay where he has reasonable grounds for believing that the exercise of the right conferred by subsection (1) above at the time when the person detained desires to exercise it—

(a)will lead to interference with or harm to evidence connected with a serious arrestable offence or interference with or physical injury to other persons ; or

(b)will lead to the alerting of other persons suspected of having committed such an offence but not yet arrested for it; or

(c)will hinder the recovery of any property obtained as a result of such an offence.

(9)If delay is authorised—

(a)the detained person shall be told the reason for it; and

(b)the reason shall be noted on his custody record.

(10)The duties imposed by subsection (9) above shall be performed as soon as is practicable.

(11)There may be no further delay in permitting the exercise of the right conferred by subsection (1) above once the reason for authorising delay ceases to subsist.

(12)The reference in subsection (1) above to a person arrested includes a reference to a person who has been detained under the terrorism provisions.

(13)In the application of this section to a person who has been arrested or detained under the terrorism provisions—

(a)subsection (5) above shall have effect as if for the words from " within" onwards there were substituted the words " before the end of the period beyond which he may no longer be detained without the authority of the Secretary of State " ;

(b)subsection (6)(a) above shall have effect as if for the words " for a serious arrestable offence " there were substituted the words " under the terrorism provisions " ; and

(c)subsection (8) above shall have effect as if at the end there were added ““ or

(d)will lead to interference with the gathering of information about the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism; or

(e)by alerting any person, will make it more difficult—

(i)to prevent an act of terrorism ; or

(ii)to secure the apprehension, prosecution or conviction of any person in connection with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism.".

(14)If an officer of appropriate rank has reasonable grounds for believing that, unless he gives a direction under subsection (15) below, the exercise by a person arrested or detained under the terrorism provisions of the right conferred by subsection (1) above will have any of the consequences specified in subsection (8) above (as it has effect by virtue of subsection (13) above), he may give a direction under that subsection.

(15)A direction under this subsection is a direction that a person desiring to exercise the right conferred by subsection (1) above may only consult a solicitor in the sight and hearing of a qualified officer of the uniformed branch of the force of which the officer giving the direction is a member.

(16)An officer is qualified for the purpose of subsection (15) above if—

(a)he is of at least the rank of inspector; and

(b)in the opinion of the officer giving the direction he has no connection with the case.

(17)An officer is of appropriate rank to give a direction under subsection (15) above if he is of at least the rank of Commander or Assistant Chief Constable.

(18)A direction under subsection (15) above shall cease to have effect once the reason for giving it ceases to subsist.

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