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Anorak | One For The Defence

One For The Defence

by | 10th, November 2006

Explaining the relationship uniformed officers have with defence solicitors is difficult, especially if you’re american where (so I’m told) the relationship is much more confrontational and you have a right to silence.

It sometimes seems like I’ve known Mr. Saunders for ever. I certainly see him far more often than I see my own bosses; I even have his mobile number in my Police Federation diary.

Although he now is “an accredited police station adviser” he used to be a Chief Inspector over in Weatherby where, by all accounts, he was well-respected by the troops.

I meet Mr. Saunders about three times a week in Newtown custody when he represents a suspect I have to interview. It’s normal practice for officers to ring the custody block whenever they’re ready to interview a suspect, custody them telephone the solicitor who arrives within the hour. However, if it’s Mr. Saunders, I usually telephone him myself when I’m ready.

“Evening officer,” says Mr. Saunders as he sees me behind the desk.
“Evening Mr. Saunders, would you like some disclosure?” I ask as I hand over the suspect’s custody record.
“Yes, I think we’d better get started,” He replies.

So together we troop into an interview room and I outline the circumstances of his client’s arrest and some of the evidence against him. After this there’s a pause. Mr. Saunders stops writing and I stare into the middle distance. Although the offence (shoplifting in this case) took place at lunchtime, it’s taken until now (11.00pm) for the suspect to be fit for interview. I’ve dragged Mr. Saunders from his home for this and now he realises that it’s the same nonsense that I always end up dealing with.

“I really am sorry about

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Posted: 10th, November 2006 | In: News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink