30 April 2020
Attending an interview under caution during COVID-19
Receiving an unexpected call from the police can cause a lot of concern and panic. It is important to remain calm and contact a solicitor for further assistance. Your solicitor will contact the police officer to ask what the allegation is and for disclosure, this is the case the police believe they have against you. A solicitor will arrange a meeting with you, this will be a phone or video call during COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, to go through the allegation, take your instructions and form a strategy for the police interview.
In normal circumstances, the officer will be contacted to arrange a mutually convenient time to attend the police station. The solicitor will be with you throughout the interview and liaise with the police after the interview to obtain the decision as to how the matter will be dealt with.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, your solicitor will contact the police officer for disclosure and take your instructions over the phone or video call. It will then be established if it is necessary to interview you, if so there will be considerations of other ways to deal with the matter rather than face to face such as remotely or preparing a response to questions.
Your solicitor may also arrange the interview with the police officer after lockdown when it is safe for all parties to attend the police station. It is important to have advice during a voluntary interview as it is an ‘interview under caution’ and not as is described by many police officers ‘a chat.’