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Discuss whether the balance between the rights of an individual and the powers of the police to detain and interview a person at the police station are satisfactory.

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Introduction

Discuss whether the balance between the rights of an individual and the powers of the police to detain and interview a person at the police station are satisfactory. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) and the PACE Codes of Practice provide the core framework of police powers and safeguards around stop and search, arrest, detention, investigation, identification and interviewing people being detained. The latest versions of these codes came into practice at the end of 2005. The codes are vital in making sure the balance between police powers and the rights of an individual is correct. Another procedure which aims to make sure the rights of individuals are protected is The Royal Commission on Criminal Procedure. It was set up in 1978 as there was concern over police procedures and whether or not they were abusing their power. This, in my view, was highly necessary. The type of power that police get needs to have boundaries set or people can take advantage. * Code C Code C sets out the requirements for the detention, treatment and questioning of suspects not related to terrorism in police custody by police officers. ...read more.

Middle

A person, unless under the Terrorism act, cannot be held for more than 24 hours without the permission of a senior member of staff. After this point, the superintendent or a person of higher ranking must decide whether or not there is enough evidence to charge the suspect. If, after 36 hours, the police still wish to keep the suspect in custody, they must appeal to the magistrate's court for permission to hold said detainee for a further amount of time, a maximum of 96 hours. After this point, the suspect must either be released, or charged with an offence. Unless under the terrorism act, these time limits have to be abided by. I think that this is a very important rule, as it stops potentially innocent people being detained for longer than is necessary. I also agree with the fact that a magistrate's court has to make the decision on whether or not a suspect can be kept in custody for longer than 36 hours. ...read more.

Conclusion

I agree with this, as the intimate samples being taken can be quite invasive. They shouldn't just be done by anybody. I think that these should only be done if strictly necessary, and only if they are going to benefit the case in some way. This protects the suspect themselves from anything unnecessarily invasive. A defendant, up until the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 was enacted, defendants could refuse to answer questions without it harming their cases. Now, if a defendant remains silent throughout their interview, especially if they leave out a crucial piece of evidence, it can be used against them in court and affect their case. Also, it naturally looks like the defendant has something to hide if they refuse to speak in their interview. I don't completely agree with this, as a person may just not want to even entertain the idea that they are guilty of something that they perhaps haven't done. The fact that a person can be scrutinized for this and it consequently affecting their case seems unjust to me. ...read more.

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