The Case Against Custody: Exploring the Problems with Police Detention in England and Wales
Criminal Justice, Borders and Citizenship Research Paper
University of Leicester School of Law Research Paper No. 17-5
19 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2016
Date Written: 2016
Within England and Wales, by virtue of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, police custody officers may detain suspects in police custody for up to 24 hours. Intended as a last resort, the power to detain is instead being used routinely. Within this paper I will examine the intended use of detention and how detention is being used, highlighting a number of problems herewith. Most notably perhaps, detention is detrimental for the detainee, a theme which will be drawn out in a number of dimensions. Whilst detention may be permissible from a crime-control or human rights perspective, it is contrary to due process. Given the numerous issues outlined, it is perhaps time to consider alternatives. This paper begins, or re-opens, the dialogue, seeking to rebalance the process in favour of the suspect/detainee.
Keywords: detention, police custody, PACE, suspects
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