Police Station Services

Legal advice at the police station is free of charge to any person who has been arrested or is being interviewed by the police as a volunteer.

We operate a 24 hour emergency service for clients who have been arrested by the police. If you or a member of your family needs our help, we can be contacted at any time of the day or night to provide expert advice. Whilst we are based in London, in serious cases we can arrange for representation throughout the UK.

Decisions that are made at the police station can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of the case and it is important to be proactive from the very start of the police investigation.

We understand that being arrested and held in the police station can be daunting. As well as the fear of being charged with a criminal offence, spending time at the police station may have lifelong implications in terms of employment, restrictions on foreign travel and the retention of your fingerprints and DNA.

Whilst at the police station, you will be interviewed. What you say at these interviews is extremely important as whatever you say may be used against you as evidence.

It may not be in your interests to answer police questions at this point and there may be many reasons why you should not, or would not, choose to do so. On the other hand, answering “no comment” to every question may not be the best approach. Therefore, it’s essential to instruct a solicitor who can be contacted at any time of the day or night and who is able to robustly defend your interests in what can sometimes be a highly pressured environment.

If you would like to speak to a member of our police station team please call us on 0207 790 4032. 

If you are calling after 5.30pm or at a weekend, please call our out of hours number 07841 454 170

Alternatively, complete our enquiry form. and a member of our police station representative team will get back to you.

Our police station solicitors’ expertise

Police station representation is a specialist skill requiring the ability to stay calm and focused in tense environments. All of our solicitors hold the Police Station Accreditation, which means that they have achieved a specialist qualification in providing advice at the police station.

Our goal is to make your police station experience as straightforward as possible, minimising the amount of time you have to spend there. Our interview and negotiation skills mean we have an impressive track record of successfully getting our clients released without charge or pending investigation.

We act for clients facing criminal investigation and charges for a variety of offences from minor road traffic violations through to serious criminal offences, including:

Whether the interview is with the police, Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the Department of Work and Pensions or any other organisation, our team will provide expert guidance, practical advice and quality representation.

Police station FAQs​

What are the police powers of arrest?

The police can arrest anybody they have reasonable grounds to suspect is involved in a criminal offence. They are allowed to use “reasonable force” when arresting you, for example, restraining you to prevent you running away. You may also be handcuffed and searched.

What do police officers say when arresting you?

Under the police code of practice, when arresting you, the police officer must identify themselves as the police, tell you that you’re being arrested, what criminal offence you are suspected of, why they are arresting you, and that you are not free to walk away.

You are also likely to be cautioned with the following words:

You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in Court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”

What happens at the police station after being arrested?

After you’re arrested, the police will take you to the police station where you will be held in custody, usually in a cell. They will probably search you and your personal belongings will be confiscated and only returned after you are released or after your case has been concluded.

While you are at the police station you will be questioned and anything you say can be used as evidence in your case.

You are entitled to free legal advice while at the police station, so get in touch with us as soon as possible for expert advice and representation.

What is a voluntary police interview under caution?

The police may invite you to voluntarily attend the police station to ask you questions in relation to a criminal offence under caution.

Although these kinds of interview are voluntary, anything you say during the interview can be used against you are evidence. It’s therefore crucial to contact a skilled police station solicitor to provide you with advice and attend the police station with you.

What rights do you have while in custody?

Your rights at the police station include:

  • Free legal advice – ask to contact us as soon as possible after you arrive at the police station
  • To receive a written notice of your rights
  • To let someone know where you are
  • To basic amenities, including food, water, access to a toilet, and an interpreter if English isn’t your first language.
  • To medical assistance if you are unwell

If you are under 18-years-old or a vulnerable adult (for example, you have learning difficulties), the police must try to contact an “appropriate adult”, such as a:

  • Parent
  • Guardian
  • Carer
  • Social worker
  • Close friend or family member
  • Volunteer

You’ll be entitled to take your appropriate adult into any police interviews to support you.

Should you take a solicitor to a police interview?

It’s very important to take a solicitor to a police interview because:

  • Everyone is entitled to free legal advice while at the police station
  • Police station solicitors are experts in criminal law
  • Solicitors know what questions to ask and will be able to get further information about the allegations against you before you are interviewed
  • Solicitors are well-versed in suspects’ legal rights so are best placed to protect yours.
  • Solicitors make bail representations should the need arise.

Can the police take your fingerprints and other samples?

The police are entitled to take your fingerprints, photos and other DNA samples, such as mouth swabs.

However, the police need your permission to take samples of bodily fluids, including blood and urine, or dental impressions. The exception to this is if you are suspected of a drink or drug driving offence. Refusing samples for analysis in this instance is a criminal offence.

The police will store details of your samples in a secure database and you can check what information they have by writing to your local police station. Unfortunately, the police will only destroy information in certain circumstances, such as if the samples were taken unlawfully. If you are concerned about this, we can provide further advice.

How long can the police keep you in custody?

The police can keep you in custody for up to 24 hours. After 24 hours, they must charge you and/or release you. In certain cases a further extension of detention in custody can be sought.

For the most serious crimes such as murder, the police can apply to hold you for up to 36 or 96 hours.

For Terrorism offences, you can be held in custody without charge for up to 14 days.

How does bail work?

If the police do not have enough evidence to charge you at the end of your stay in custody but want to continue their investigations, you are likely to be released on bail, or released under investigation.

You may also be released conditionally on bail after being charged with an offence pending trial. For example, you may have to report regularly to the police station or submit to a curfew. If you breach the conditions of your bail, you will probably be remanded back into custody until your trial.

We can provide further advice about bail, including making representations to the police in support of your bail or representing you at any bail hearings.

Why choose our police station solicitors?

Our clients are our priority and we will utilise the entire breadth of our knowledge and experience to defend your liberty, preserve your rights, and get you released from custody as soon as possible.

We have strong links with our local community in East London, however, we are also recognised nationally as one of the leading criminal law firms in the UK. We are ranked top tier by both Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 for our expertise.

Every solicitor within our team is qualified under the Police Station Representatives Accreditation Scheme, with significant skill supporting and representing clients at police stations throughout London and the UK in some serious cases.

Get in touch with our police station solicitors

If you would like to speak to a member of our police station team please call us on 0207 790 4032

If you are calling after 5.30pm or at a weekend, please call our out of hours number 07841 454 170

Alternatively, complete our enquiry form.  and a member of our police station representative team will get back to you.

To speak to one of our experts please get in touch