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English Legal System

English Legal System (5th edn)

Helen Rutherford, Birju Kotecha, and Angela Macfarlane
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date: 30 May 2023

p. 39611. The criminal process: The suspect and the policelocked

p. 39611. The criminal process: The suspect and the policelocked

  • Helen Rutherford, Helen RutherfordSenior Lecturer, Northumbria University
  • Birju KotechaBirju KotechaSenior Lecturer, Northumbria University
  •  and Angela MacFarlaneAngela MacFarlaneSenior Lecturer, Northumbria University


This chapter is concerned with the powers given to the police in order to investigate offences effectively, the limits to those powers, and the circumstances in which they may be exercised. It is concerned in particular with police powers to search, arrest, detain, and question suspects. The chapter also looks at the consequences that may follow when the police misuse their powers or break the rules. In relation to police interviews, it considers both the rules that protect suspects and the extent to which the right to silence has been eroded. Finally, the chapter examines who decides whether to bring a prosecution against a particular suspect and the criteria that are taken into account in making that decision.

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