Essay on Safeguarding the Rights of Suspects in Police Custody

1235 Words5 Pages
If you were a suspect being questioned in a police station, which of your rights would you exercise and which would you waive? Which of your rights would you regard as the most important? Why?

For many suspects the process of questioning in a police station is very stressful with 60%[1] confessing or making damaging admissions. The ability to take advantage of the right to silence and right to see a solicitor in theory should help to alleviate some of this stress and consequently prevent false confessions which may constitute towards the 60% of confessions. However, in practise the evidence appears to show otherwise. The right to see a solicitor has been practised more adequately recently with
…show more content…
However, in practise it appears that the court can and does infer guilt from silence under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 s. 34-39. Section 24 gives judges broad discretion to direct jury to what inferences they might properly draw. This leaves room for the judge to use his subjective opinions to consciously or unconsciously persuade the jury that the silence could be due to guilt. Guilt can be inferred from the defendant’s failure to provide explanations for the proximity to the scene of the crime under section 37. These provisions mean that the right to silence is only really worth adopting if you are guilty of the offence in question since it will prevent the suspect from making any damaging admissions which could lead to a conviction. If he remains silent there is a chance that the police will not have enough evidence to charge. Furthermore, if I was a guilty suspect being questioned I would exercise right to silence so as to avoid conviction or prosecution. However, the benefits of remaining silent are not as beneficial if I was an innocent suspect. There is a chance that if I went to court my silence could be inferred as guilt. In addition, there is a possibility that remaining silent could lengthen my detention in a police cell
Get Access