§ Mr. Hind
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of detainees in police custody exercise their right to legal advice under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
The recently published Home Office research study "Detention at the Police Station under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984", which draws on data collected in 10 police force areas in March 1987, indicates that of the over 5,500 detainees whose records are examined, some 25 per cent. had asked to see a solicitor. Sixteen per cent. of all detainees went on to see a solicitor and 5 per cent. spoke to a solicitor by telephone.
Where no advice was received, this was often because the detainee changed his mind, but in a third of such cases the police were unsuccessful in contacting a solicitor. Access to legal advice was delayed by the police in about 1 per cent. of cases.