Being arrested or invited by the police to the station for a voluntary interview can be daunting. PCD Solicitors empathise with the anxiety, confusion and desperation a person may find themselves in when finding out they are under police investigation. This informative blog aims to provide a quick explanation as to the role of the police and our experiences in recent months of police investigations concerning sexual offences.
Firstly, it is important that you contact a solicitor at an early stage. Many people fail to contact a solicitor despite being under investigation by the police. There are many reasons why people avoid solicitors, the most common is that they feel it makes them look guilty or they are innocent and have nothing to hide. This could not be further from reality, your most important right when at a police station or under investigation is to seek legal advice, even when you are innocent!
"In 2020/21, approximately 29,105 people were arrested for sexual offences in England and Wales."
The role of the police is to investigate alleged offences. With sexual offences, the starting point for the police is to believe the person making the complaint. As the person accused, you may be made to feel guilty right from the start which we understand can be frustrating and upsetting.
The police are experienced in asking questions and interviewing suspects to try and reach the outcome they want - to prove that you are guilty. Even a person completely innocent can be tripped up by certain questions and made to feel like they are lying.
By appointing your own solicitor you are safeguarding your position. We can obtain initial evidence from the police and review everything with you, in private, before any interview takes place. The benefit of this is that you can approach any evidence in a clear logical manner and that you are prepared for that interview with the police.
We can the make representations to the police to try and get your case dropped - resulting in no further action. Building a rapport with the investigating officer to enable us to extract information from them greatly assists our ability to achieve this for our clients.
"The MoJ data shows that the number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts for sexual offences has increased to 9,361 in 2021 from 7,076 in 2020."
In recent months we have had several cases where we made representations to the police and which resulted in the police taking no further action. In many ways this is surprising because in each case a complaint of a sexual offence had been made to the police. Our client’s had been interviewed. Why, you may wonder, would the police then suddenly drop a case?
We know that the police are dealing with an ever increasing number of sexual offences. Officers are overworked, police stations are under-staffed and COVID has added to the delays. In addition, such cases often involve forensic examination of electrical items or DNA. Expert reports are taking longer and longer to produce because of the ever increasing number of cases.
As specialist solicitors, we know there can be numerous problems with the police and prosecution evidence. We are able to make representations to the police to clearly explain why, in our opinion, the case against you is weak. We are also able to make representations to the prosecution service with the aim of convincing the CPS not to charge. The police will contact CPS for a charging decision before deciding whether to charge you. If you fail to make representations to the police and / or the CPS then there is, in our view, a greater chance the CPS will charge you.
"5,197 offenders were found guilty of sexual offences in all courts in 2021."
To discuss your case in confidence, please contact Marcus Johnstone for a free initial consultation. Marcus will discuss your case with you completely are of charge. Only if you ask the we represent you will we charge a fee. Even then we are able to work on a fixed fee, meaning you will know the exact cost from the outset.
Marcus can be contact on 0151 705 8488 or 07808 553555.