WHAT IS A CAUTION PLUS 3 INTERVIEW

A caution plus 3 interview is a formal police  interview which usually takes place at a police station.

The person being interviewed is suspected of having committed an offence or offences. The purpose of the interview is for the police to obtain evidence from that person by questioning them.

A person attending a police station voluntarily can leave the station at any time. If, however, they decide to leave before the interview is over, the police may have grounds to arrest them in order to keep them there until they have finished questioning them.

A person attending the police station voluntarily is entitled to free and independent legal advice from a solicitor.

At the beginning of the interview the person being interviewed will be cautioned. The caution is a warning the police give at the start of every interview, and is as follows: ‘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.’ Once the officer has cautioned the person, they will begin questioning them. Anything said in the interview can be used as evidence.

WHAT HAPPENS AT A CAUTION PLUS 3 INTERVIEW

If a person is legally represented, their representative will, on arrival at the station, consult with the officer in the case to obtain information about the evidence the police have.

The police must provide the solicitor with sufficient information to enable them to understand the nature of the offence under investigation, and why the person is suspected of committing it.

The police are not required to disclose details at a time which might prejudice the investigation. The decision about what needs to be disclosed rests with the investigating officer.

Having obtained information from the officer, the solicitor will consult with the person in private to obtain their account of the incident and advise them accordingly. A room will be provided for this.

The solicitor will advise the person on their legal position, and what they should do in the interview i.e. answer questions, remain silent or give in a prepared statement. After consulting with the solicitor, the person will be interviewed.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER THE INTERVIEW

The officer will refer the case to a sergeant or evidential review officer for a decision to be made regarding the outcome.

More serious matters will be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for a decision to be made where a lawyer will review the evidence and decide on the outcome.

WHAT ACTION CAN THE POLICE TAKE

There are a number of possible outcomes following a police interview such as:

No Further Action

A decision has been made not to take the matter any further, either because there was insufficient evidence to charge, or it was decided a prosecution was not in the public interest.

Charge

A charge is a formal accusation of a crime. A suspect charged with an offence will have to go to court where they will be expected to plead guilty or not guilty to the charge.

A suspect will only be charged if the police or prosecutor believe (a) there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction, and (b) it is in the public interest to prosecute.

Simple Caution

A simple caution is a formal warning given by the police to an adult (a person aged 18 or over) who admits committing an offence. Certain conditions must be satisfied before a simple caution can be given.

Conditional Caution

A conditional caution is a caution with one or more conditions attached. Criminal proceedings for the offence are halted while a person is given an opportunity to comply with the conditions. Where the conditions are complied with, a prosecution is not normally commenced.

A conditional caution can be given only to offenders aged 18 or over. Offenders under the age of 18 may receive a youth caution.

Youth Caution

Youth Cautions are a formal out-of-court disposal that can be used as an alternative to prosecution for young offenders (aged 10 to 17) in certain circumstances.

A Youth Caution may be given for any offence where the young offender admits an offence, there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction, but it is not in the public interest to prosecute.

Referral to the Youth Offending Team

Following a referral to the YOT from the police, the YOT may carry out an assessment and offer a rehabilitation programme for a youth who has never received a Youth Caution or Youth Conditional Caution at their discretion.

Community Resolution

This is an informal warning given by the police for low level offences. It can only be given where the person admits committing an offence.

A Community Resolution may be used with both youth and adult offenders. It is primarily aimed at first time offenders where genuine remorse has been expressed, and where the victim has agreed that they do not want the police to take more formal action.

Penalty Notice for Disorder

A PND is a type of fixed penalty notice for a specified range of low-level offences. An admission of guilt is not required, but there must be sufficient evidence to support a successful prosecution.

Where the PND is paid in full, that discharges any liability to be convicted of the penalty offence but the paying of the penalty is not an admission of guilt.

WHAT IS A CAUTION PLUS 3 INTERVIEW

A caution plus 3 interview is a formal police  interview which usually takes place at a police station.

The person being interviewed is suspected of having committed an offence or offences. The purpose of the interview is for the police to obtain evidence from that person by questioning them.

A person attending a police station voluntarily can leave the station at any time. If, however, they decide to leave before the interview is over, the police may have grounds to arrest them in order to keep them there until they have finished questioning them.

A person attending the police station voluntarily is entitled to free and independent legal advice from a solicitor.

At the beginning of the interview the person being interviewed will be cautioned. The caution is a warning the police give at the start of every interview, and is as follows: ‘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.’ Once the officer has cautioned the person, they will begin questioning them. Anything said in the interview can be used as evidence.

WHAT HAPPENS AT A CAUTION PLUS 3 INTERVIEW

If a person is legally represented, their representative will, on arrival at the station, consult with the officer in the case to obtain information about the evidence the police have.

The police must provide the solicitor with sufficient information to enable them to understand the nature of the offence under investigation, and why the person is suspected of committing it.

The police are not required to disclose details at a time which might prejudice the investigation. The decision about what needs to be disclosed rests with the investigating officer.

Having obtained information from the officer, the solicitor will consult with the person in private to obtain their account of the incident and advise them accordingly. A room will be provided for this.

The solicitor will advise the person on their legal position, and what they should do in the interview i.e. answer questions, remain silent or give in a prepared statement. After consulting with the solicitor, the person will be interviewed.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER THE INTERVIEW

The officer will refer the case to a sergeant or evidential review officer for a decision to be made regarding the outcome.

More serious matters will be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for a decision to be made where a lawyer will review the evidence and decide on the outcome.

WHAT ACTION CAN THE POLICE TAKE

There are a number of possible outcomes following a police interview such as:

No Further Action

A decision has been made not to take the matter any further, either because there was insufficient evidence to charge, or it was decided a prosecution was not in the public interest.

Charge

A charge is a formal accusation of a crime. A suspect charged with an offence will have to go to court where they will be expected to plead guilty or not guilty to the charge.

A suspect will only be charged if the police or prosecutor believe (a) there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction, and (b) it is in the public interest to prosecute.

Simple Caution

A simple caution is a formal warning given by the police to an adult (a person aged 18 or over) who admits committing an offence. Certain conditions must be satisfied before a simple caution can be given.

Conditional Caution

A conditional caution is a caution with one or more conditions attached. Criminal proceedings for the offence are halted while a person is given an opportunity to comply with the conditions. Where the conditions are complied with, a prosecution is not normally commenced.

A conditional caution can be given only to offenders aged 18 or over. Offenders under the age of 18 may receive a youth caution.

Youth Caution

Youth Cautions are a formal out-of-court disposal that can be used as an alternative to prosecution for young offenders (aged 10 to 17) in certain circumstances.

A Youth Caution may be given for any offence where the young offender admits an offence, there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction, but it is not in the public interest to prosecute.

Referral to the Youth Offending Team

Following a referral to the YOT from the police, the YOT may carry out an assessment and offer a rehabilitation programme for a youth who has never received a Youth Caution or Youth Conditional Caution at their discretion.

Community Resolution

This is an informal warning given by the police for low level offences. It can only be given where the person admits committing an offence.

A Community Resolution may be used with both youth and adult offenders. It is primarily aimed at first time offenders where genuine remorse has been expressed, and where the victim has agreed that they do not want the police to take more formal action.

Penalty Notice for Disorder

A PND is a type of fixed penalty notice for a specified range of low-level offences. An admission of guilt is not required, but there must be sufficient evidence to support a successful prosecution.

Where the PND is paid in full, that discharges any liability to be convicted of the penalty offence but the paying of the penalty is not an admission of guilt.