Police Powers - Detention

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  • Suspect must be taken to the police station ASAP
  • Assigned Custody officer who will assess evidence against them
  • On this basis custody officer will decide whether suspect can be charged
  • If charged suspect usually release on bail

Custody Officer

  • Custody officer review whethere there is enough evidence to charge suspect after first 6 hrs
  • Then after every 9 hrs
  • Police can detain suspect for 36hrs
  • 12 hrs can be extended by police, only by Superintendent or above
  • Final extension up to 96 hrs, must be approved by magistrate


  • Detained so they can question them about offence
  • Aiming to get suspect to confess
  • Interviews may be taped and a record made afterwards
  • Suspect has right to consult lawyer
  • May be delayed up to 36 hrs

Search at police station

  • Suspect is searched upon arrival
  • Custody officer records any property
  • Police can remove anything they believe individual may use to cause harm to themselves or others, damage property, interfere with evidence, assist escape, reasonably believed to be evidence (PACE s.54)

Non-Intimate Searches

  • May be taken after suspect has been searched


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