Making a Statement
Making a Statement to the Police
There are three sections to our guide on making a statement to the police:
Before making a statement:
Giving a statement is important as it forms part of the evidence the police are collecting. It may be used in a number of ways:
- The police will use it to help decide if a crime has been committed. If they believe a crime has been committed, they will pass all the evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
- The CPS will use it to help decide if a conviction is likely. If they decide on the evidence that a conviction is likely, they will start court proceedings.
- The statement may then form part of the evidence presented to the court by the defence &/or the prosecution and you may even be called as a witness by the prosecution &/or the defence.
- The police are not your enemy. The police are collecting evidence of a possible crime. It serves no purpose to be obstructive. The police are doing an important and difficult job; there is no need for ill feeling.
- Make a statement only when you are ready. A statement is a legal document. It should not be given until you are clear in your mind what you wish to say and are calm.
- Do not get into “off the record” conversation. Casually chatting with the police in the car on the way to the police station may be used as evidence in court.
- Ask what crime is being investigated. Remember that “helping with enquiries” or “for the purposes of elimination” are only half answers. However, the police do not have to give you this information.
- Giving a statement can stop all contact with the accused. If the prosecution wishes to call you in court to question you about your statement, all contact with the accused may be stopped until after the trial.
If you are in any doubt about any of the information that could go in a statement, seek legal advice before giving the statement.
Nowadays the police have all the facilities available to double tape record any interview. By attending the Police Station you are within your rights to request your statement is taped as well as written. One tape is sealed and one is yours.
Next “During the interview“