Q&As

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, can voluntary interviews under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 be conducted virtually?

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Published on LexisPSL on 05/03/2021

The following Corporate Crime Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, can voluntary interviews under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 be conducted virtually?

Invitations to attend an interview under caution on a voluntary basis are routine in regulatory crime investigations. Volunteers are defined in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE 1984) as a person who, for the purpose of assisting with an investigation, attends a police station voluntarily or at any other place where a constable is present, or, who accompanies a constable to a police station or such other place without having been arrested. Volunteers are entitled to leave at will unless they are placed under arrest and, in accordance with PACE Code C, have specific entitlements whilst they are attending an interview conducted under PACE 1984.

For information about voluntary attendance at interviews under caution under PACE 1984, see Practice Note: Voluntary attendance at an interview under caution.

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Crown Prosecution Service, the Law Society, Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association and London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association have agreed an interim protocol for interviewing suspects during the pandemic. This guidance is published on the CPS website here. According to the CPS website, this guidance:

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