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The NEW police caution

Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-11-2007

The NEW police caution

Watching cops and robbers progs on tele, we often hear the "new" police caution being recited, to the miscreants.... ending with... "do you understand that".. and the miscreant says "yes"...
"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."
So.... Do you understand it?
does it mean..... "you do not have to say anything"
Or does it mean.... If you do say something. it will be used against you....
And what does this really mean.... "  it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. "  
How do you know you are going to court... how do you know you will rely on something you didn`t mention,
IF you go to court....
and how will that "harm your defence"---------------------------  isn`t that some kind of veiled threat, that whatever you do eventually say, IF you end up in court, WILL BE DISMISSED , because you "do not mention , when questioned....."

EDIT EDIT EDIT
just for comparison,.....here is the old one...
"Do you wish to say anything? You are not obliged to say anything unless you wish to do so but whatever you say will be taken down in writing and may be given in evidence."
17 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Re: The NEW police caution

Community Veteran
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Re: The NEW police caution

Yeah alright, smarty pants....  Roll eyes
But do you understand it?
chuckster
Grafter
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Re: The NEW police caution

Seems pretty simple..
You do not have to say anything - You don't have to talk
But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court - If you don't say, when you're questioned, a fact or facts that are important to help your defence that could go against you (adverse inferences from silence).
Anything you do say may be given in evidence - anything you say can be used in your particular case
Do you understand - you got all that?
Community Veteran
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Re: The NEW police caution

Not 'had your collar felt' I hope Shutter.  Cheesy
I think this is a great example of a percieved need to be technically and legally 100% correct leading to forgetting the basic principal that it needs to be easily unerstandable.
It possibly pre-dates this http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/ but that's no excuse.
Call me 'w23'
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Community Veteran
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Re: The NEW police caution

It's the "But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court" that doesn't make a lot of sense.
I forgot to mention I was the other side of the world when the crime was committed. Too late now you should have said so earlier.
It seems no more than a mantra chanted by the police to ward off the evil police complaints department.
Personally I always thought it boiled down to a simple you don't have to say anything at all ever,  if you wish, as it's entirely up to the law to prove you are guilty.
RPMozley
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Re: The NEW police caution

Quote from: billnotben
It's the "But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court" that doesn't make a lot of sense.

Well it could be taken as obstructing the police, which is an offence.
itsme
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Re: The NEW police caution

I believe that, It may harm your defence' if you come up with an alibi in court which you did not mention to the police when interviewed. The jury would be instructed to treat with extreme caution.
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Re: The NEW police caution

I understand the caution however I've always wondered what would happen if you simply say no, you don't understand it. At that point they're going to be stumped. They then have two choices - try to continue breaching your rights in the process, or try teach you and you continue to be stupid / not understand.
Seems rather stupid to ask someone if they understand doesn't it.
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David_W
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Re: The NEW police caution

Copper : Where were you at 1:25pm (local time) on the 22nd November 1963?
Suspect: .....
Lawyer: Where were you at 1:25pm (local time) on the 22nd November 1963?
Suspect: Oh, then, I was on a grassy knoll
Lawyer: So why didn't you tell the police officer where you were when you were cautioned?
Suspect: Umm..... I was using my right to remain silent?
As for what happens if they are unable to understand the rights as read to them, well, the police deal with a multitude of people who cannot understand the rights, for instance people who cannot speak English, in that case they can't interview you (except in certain circumstances) without an interpreter, if you're unable to understand the rights due to a learning difficulty then they cannot question you without someone there for support, if however you're fully able to understand the rights given to you but just say "no, I don't understand them" then they would probably go through each party, really slowly, asking "do you understand" after each part?  Like:
You have the right to remain silent - do you understand?
Nope!
It means you have no obligation to say anything to us and we can't force you to say anything, do you understand?
Nope!
It means you don't need to speak to us unless you want to, do you understand?
Nope!
It also means that we can arrest you for wasting police time, do you understand that?
..... Yes officer.
Community Veteran
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Re: The NEW police caution

I've had no personal experience of being cautioned but I think a solicitor would advise any client to remain silent until legally represented.  This would not harm an accused case.
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Re: The NEW police caution

What if you exercise your right to remain silent by not answering the "do you understand" question?
Nod or shake your head I suppose Undecided
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Re: The NEW police caution

Quote from: David
It also means that we can arrest you for wasting police time, do you understand that?
..... Yes officer.
Nope

Afterall, how can they arrest and caution you again if you didn't understand the first caution? Cheesy
Quote from: Strat
What if you exercise your right to remain silent by not answering the "do you understand" question?
Nod or shake your head I suppose Undecided

Nope Wink
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MJN
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Re: The NEW police caution

Quote from: artmo
I've had no personal experience of being cautioned but I think a solicitor would advise any client to remain silent until legally represented.  This would not harm an accused case.

Absolutely. Even the caution warns that anything you do say might be used against you.
Keeping schtum until legally represented is the wise man's stance, and you certainly couldn't be charged for 'wasting police time' because it is your statutory right to do so[1] which I why they are obliged to highlight it. It is given to inform and protect the person being arrested that they are not under any obligation to say anything.
Mathew
(Also innocent of all wrongdoing)
(Until proven guilty of course...)
[1] There are two exceptions that I am aware of - identifying who was driving a vehicle, involved in an offence, for which you are the registered keeper, and surrendering the decryption keys for material being sought under RIPA.
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Re: The NEW police caution

Quote from: MJN
surrendering the decryption keys for material being sought under RIPA.

Do they now have the right to demand this then?
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