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Identify and Critically Discuss Problems Associated With Police Interviews and The Success With Which PACE Has Addressed These Issues.

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Law (MS) Si�n Lees 21/11/2002 Identify and Critically Discuss Problems Associated With Police Interviews and The Success With Which PACE Has Addressed These Issues Plan * Interviews can take place outside the police station ( not subject to most safeguards in PACE & police may conduct unofficial interviews ( the scenic route (P255) * Role of police (don't use innocent until proven guilty) don't find evidence to prove innocence( find facts to prove guilt( possible miscarriage of justice (John Baldwin, Royal Com., Gudjonsson's research) (P247) * Pressure on police ( secure convictions not facts( pressure to confess( possible miscarriage of justice (P247) * PACE safeguards for suspect (reasons why might not work) (P248) * Codes of practice( to deal with certain situations (P248) * Code C- caution ( usually on arrest (right to silence) (P248) * Tape recording (P249) * Right to inform someone of your arrest (36hrs. delay possible) (P249) * Free legal advisor (case of R 'v' Samuel (1988) ...read more.


The second group confess in the hope that the police will stop searching for the perpetrator who they are trying to protect. This is usually a spouse, relative of close friend. The third group confess due to pressure. They assume the questioning will be terminated if they give the police what they want (a confession). A related reason is the pressure and intensity of the interview can temporarily persuade the suspect that they are in fact guilty; this too is only a minority group. The pressure on police for convictions can also lead to possible miscarriages of justice. Investigations turn from finding facts to securing convictions. There are however several safeguards as legislated in PACE, 1984, which protect the individual. For example, under Code C, a person must be cautioned both on arrest and before being questioned. Before the abolition of the right to silence in 1994, the caution was, "You do not have to say anything unless you wish to do so but anything you do say may be given in evidence." ...read more.


Another safeguard usually for minors is having an appropriate adult present when being questioned. An appropriate adult is anyone over the age of 18, usually a parent or social worker. People with mental disabilities are also entitled to an appropriate adult. The treatment of suspects whilst in custody is also very important. The interview room must be lit and heated correctly, and they must be given adequate breaks for food, sleep and refreshments. After the interview it is important to make a record to be kept on file. However, in 1993 Baldwin checked a number of these files and found that half were either faulty or misleading. The final safeguard I will look at (and probably one of the most important) is the exclusion of evidence. The courts can decide whether or not to dismiss evidence which has been improperly obtained. For example, In K 'v' Conale, 1990, the court refused evidence because interviews were not written up correctly. In conclusion, I believe that although PACE, 1984 provides many helpful safeguards, much more could be done to help protect the suspect. Si�n Lees ...read more.

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