deannekn
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as part of a problem question a suspect is arrested for suspected involvement in stabbing someone. As the police are driving to the station they pass a block of flats, where the defendant starts banging on the window. One of the officers gets out to investigate, believing that this is where the stabbed man is. I am a bit confused as to whether this would be lawful under PACE? The officers should usually take the suspects straight to the station, but would it come under an exception to investigate in order to avoid further harm to the victim, as surely it would be justified to find him and phone an ambulance?
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nick2491
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(Original post by deannekn)
as part of a problem question a suspect is arrested for suspected involvement in stabbing someone. As the police are driving to the station they pass a block of flats, where the defendant starts banging on the window. One of the officers gets out to investigate, believing that this is where the stabbed man is. I am a bit confused as to whether this would be lawful under PACE? The officers should usually take the suspects straight to the station, but would it come under an exception to investigate in order to avoid further harm to the victim, as surely it would be justified to find him and phone an ambulance?
Deanne, I'm not A-Level or degree level law qualified, but I have been a police officer for 18 years. I would argue that if you had some grounds to suspect that the victim may be there and in need of medical attention, then that duty would override the duty to slavishly follow PACE regardless. It would be easy enough to ask the detainee why they showed such interest at this particular point, as long as the questioning was limited to what was required to confirm the grounds for suspecting or believing the victim was there, and anything specific as to the victims location, e.g. flat number,buzzer access to the flat, where they keep the spare key etc.

Although these are practical questions for the officer on the scene, they could also disclose a prior connection between the offender and the location, so asking would fall under the definition of an interview also. Thus as long as an officer is happy that they have ground for an urgent interview, then can proceed until they have asked the urgent questions ONLY, and then make a note on the persons custody record once their detention is authorised.

PACE Code C Para 11.1 covers this.

Hope this helps!

Nick
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