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Hello and help with Stop and Search

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  • Hello and help with Stop and Search

    Dear All,

    Obviously I am new to this forum, and forums in general.

    I have had minimal exposure to criminal law, Police, CPS etc. However I do have an understanding of the overarching principles through my work as a Project Manager and contract law, commercial forms of contract etc.

    I recently became involved in a situation which has left me wanting clarification on a number of associated situations:

    I was, last week, subjected to a Police Stop and Search. The three fundamental issues I initially would assistance with are:
    a) prior to the search commencing neither of the two officers (a third officer. A sergeant was also present but took no active part in the process) advised me their names or stations, no mention of a record of the search or how to get one or even that I am entitled to one, what legal power they were using, what they expected to find nor was I asked my ethnicity. All these I now understand are pre-requisites of a search. Does this make the search "unlawful" and if so what does that mean to me? Is the evidence uncovered still admissible?
    b) they found a small amount of Class A drugs on me, yes very stupid, were upon the Officer said I was under arrest and promptly put handcuffs on me, front not back. I had made no attempt to "escape" nor shown any aggressive behaviour whatsoever, physical or verbal. The handcuffs were not removed on arrival at the police station, nor in the cell, nor in the first interview room but finally after about five minutes in a second interview room, that is about 15 minutes after arriving at the police station. I do not recall the Officer making any record of the use of the handcuffs, when and where they were applied, how they were applied, what time and location they were removed etc. Nor do I recall any reason for their use being given or any reference to a risk assessment for which their use would be a documented Risk Control Measure. Should they have applied them in the first place? I was sat on a wall when they arrived and I made no attempt to run away or even move nor did I show any aggressive behaviour whatsoever, physical or verbal. If they were that worried why did he not apply them behind my back which I understand is more effective? Also why did they need them when I was in the police station and why take so long to remove them?;
    c) On arrival at the police station I was put in a cell with one of the two officers outside it all the time. I was given a datasheet of "cell procedure". At no time did I see the Custody Sergeant, or any Custody Officer. I had no search, interview, anything. I was not "booked in" in any manner. In fact the only people I saw / communicated with were the two officers who arrested me!! There was no Custody Record form. I've seen no Charge Form. The interview itself was a contemporaneous note interview. I do not know why as there was audio recording facilities in both interview rooms I went into. I was asked if I wanted legal support but it was implied I would be there all day if I requested it. After signing the "contemporaneous note", no copy was offered to me, I was escorted out of the building, by what seemed to be a side door, and told that they would be in touch by phone to advise if they could proceed with a caution not a prosecution, I hadn't asked for this and I don't remember being given a choice. I have not had the ramifications of accepting a caution advised to me yet. Is this correct procedure? i.e. not being seen by the Custody Sergeant, or anybody from the station (I believe the two Officers are from a satellite station) or being booked in. Also no information was given me on a "caution", having had chance to look into it, I can see it is a serious matter in it's own right!! Is it right that I didn't see the Custody Sergeant, or anyone from the station or even get booked into Custody. Why did they use Contemporaneous Notes not audio recording? When leaving I had no paperwork, is this right? Also no Charge Sheet, Custody Record etc.

    I just don't know were I am? In summary I believe everything above to fundamentally correct, I might have made some very minor discrepancies on the lesser details (this experience was a first for me and has left me more than somewhat confused!!) however the salient facts are definitely correct. I have been asked to attend the "satellite" police station for a formal caution, but I am now wondering if I shouldn't let them prosecute me, if the "Search and Stop" was "unlawful" due to what seems to be a series of major procedure failings. Also the, in my opinion, unwarranted and extended use of handcuffs is badly out of order. And finally the treatment at the police station seems very strange to me, I was under the impression that the Custody Sergeant was responsible for determining if the case proceeded after the initial arrest etc. Also that interviews were recorded wherever possible. And leaving the station with no paperwork and not knowing my formal situation has become more stressful the more I think about it. The whole thing seems incredibly haphazard especially when considering the potential ramifications.

    Sorry if this has rambled somewhat, but it is difficult to get everything across and not miss out something that may be important.

    Many thanks in anticipation

    Andrew Fisher
    Tags: None

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