On arrival at the police station
When you arrive at the police station you can:
- Speak to a solicitor (this is free and the solicitor does not work for the police)
- Get help if you feel unwell or are hurt
You are in a safe place. If there is something that is worrying you, you can talk to someone. If you are a girl, you can ask to speak to a female member of staff.
The police will tell your parent or carer that you are at the police station. If you don’t understand your rights you can ask a police officer.
Any items you have with you when you are arrested may be taken from you. The police will keep these safe. You may get these back when you are released or they may be kept as evidence.
The police will find you an appropriate adult to be with you when you are interviewed. It can be your parent or carer, a family member over 18 or someone from the Youth Offending Team.
The police will ask you about your health – it is important you give as much information as possible.
You may be searched when you get to the police station.
A solicitor is someone who makes sure that you understand all of the legal words and also can give you advice. You have a right to speak to a solicitor for free.
Things the police may do
- Measure your height
- Take your photo
- Take a sample of your DNA
- Scan your fingerprints
In the cell
If you have any health needs, or take medication, you should tell the police officer.
You may ask for a shower and exercise, and will be offered food.
If you have any religious needs the police will try and make sure you have everything you need.
The custody sergeant will check on you to make sure you are ok and have everything you need.
The police won’t always know how long you will be kept in for – it is usually around 2-3 hours.
The police can usually keep you in for up to 24 hours – one whole day and night.
In the interview
You can speak to your solicitor before the interview and the solicitor and appropriate adult can be in the interview with you
- There might be two police officers in the interview
- If you answer “no comment”, the police will still ask all of their questions
- You can ask for a break if you want one.
You will be taken back to the cell while the police make a decision – they will try and do this quickly.
What might happen next
If the investigation is not complete, you will be released, you may be given a date to come back to the police station.
You might have some rules to follow e.g. being back home for a certain time or not going to certain places.
If you are charged, you will be given a date to go to court.
The police have decided to charge you with the offence.
You may be given somewhere to stay overnight or, as a last resort, kept in a police cell.
No further action
The police have decided not to charge you and you are free to leave the police station.
Leaving the police station
Before you leave the police station, the police officer will make sure you are safe when you are released.
You will be given your property back (e.g. your mobile phone and your wallet) unless it is being kept for evidence.
The police officer and your appropriate adult will discuss how you are getting home. The police may be able to take you home, or ask your parent/carer to come and collect you.