The Home Office have published guidance which informs the public of their rights and entitlements in relation to voluntary police interviews.
The notice clarifies that a person who agrees to a voluntary interview by the police is free to leave at any time and must be informed of the rights, entitlements and safeguards they have. The following sections of the noice are:
Getting a solicitor to help you
Looking at the Codes of Practice
Right to remain silent
Knowing about the offence you are suspected of committing and knowing why you are being interviewed
Getting an interpreter and translations of certain documents to help you
Contacting your embassy or consulate
Access to the evidence if your case goes to Court
People who need help (including children)
Getting details of the interview
When the police question you
How to make a complaint
The guidance clarifies the rights and entitlements which already exist in law within PACE Code C. The notice is written in plain language which should make it accessible to the public. Voluntary interviews are increasingly common for children and the benefit is that the child does not have to be kept in custody. Unfortunately, children taking part in voluntary interviews are often not aware that they will result in the same outcomes as interviews following arrest and, as a result, they are less likely to take legal advice. This document may be useful for those considering taking part in a voluntary interview but whether children and their parents or guardians will access it is a separate issue.