Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Dealing with the Police. Part 2

You're in the wrong place at the wrong time and despite my wise words to remain peaceful when in the presence of those we pay to keep the peace, you are suddenly in the back of a Police Van.

Now it's going to get interesting. Many avenues are open to you. Consider them wisely as you are driven to the Police station.

Firstly, golden number one rule. Remain peaceful. The people who now hold you are bigger than you and there is more of them than you. No one ever escapes from a custody suite by violence or shouting. Plenty escape by simply knowing their rights. Do not resist. Do not struggle. You are going to use your brain, not your brawn.

Contrary to what your surroundings may tell you, you are very much in control. Be confident.

Firstly, the custody officer will want to see you. His job is to protect you, so make sure he is qualified. Politely ask to see his warrant card. You have now established in one question that you are not an ordinary customer. You have made it clear to him that you know the system and your rights. His attitude towards you will change immediately. You are going to be challenge to him.

Now shut up. Simply do not say another word. There is a process to be played out and you being a wise guy is not going to change that. You will be searched. I never carry ID, credit cards, driving licence, nothing. I rarely carry a mobile phone and keep a special blank pay as you go sim for when I am out and about as Old Holborn.

You may have me in custody, but you have no idea who you have and I'm not going to tell you. Assuming you were not arrested for stabbing the Queen, all you have to worry about is time.

You may now begin your demands. Tea please. Lots of it. Every ten minutes. A drink of water. Some food. Some paper and a pen. You are cold. You are hot. I'd like to see the duty doctor. I have a headache. All done with the utmost politeness.

Expect hours and hours to pass. You are sitting in a cell because you will not cooperate with them. You will not answer their questions. You have done nothing. Demand to see a solicitor. Immediately. Do not be aggressive. Remember, you are in control.

They will take your photo and your fingerprints plus a sample of your dna via a cheek swab. Again, they no idea who it belongs to. You on the other hand want the name and number of every officer anywhere near you. And more tea.

Now they will ask you more questions and tell you what offences you have committed. Shut up. Being open and honest and hoping to talk your way out is not going to work. It never does. It just makes it easier for them to process you, tick some boxes and file some reports, hit some targets and go back to reading the paper. More tea please. And the doctor again, I feel unwell. Remember, the Police are not the slightest bit interested whether you are innocent or guilty, they are just looking to charge you with a crime. Any crime It is their JOB.

Remember, the Police are allowed to lie to you. They will tell you awful things will happen to you. They will tell you about how they deal with "awkward customers " like you. Simply smile. And demand more tea. The police have HUGE discretion over who actually is charged and who is quietly released with no further questions.

If they really have evidence, they will use it. If they don't, just opening your mouth may well provide them with all they need. So don't.

The above scenario will see you in custody for anything up to 24 hours until, quite literally, they are bored with you. So what, you have all the time in the world. You have no charge, no record and no bruises. Remember, your name and address are useful to them. So don't give them.

If of course, you HAVE commited a crime and they have the proof, you'll need Part 3, coming soon

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