The Risks of Voluntary Interviews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article considers the increasing use of voluntary interviews of suspects by the police. There are cost savings to be made by using voluntary interviews and benefits to suspects of avoiding the stress of being arrested and detained and questioned in custody. However, voluntary interviews create a ‘parallel system of detention’ but one that does not have the full range of protections. The risks of voluntary interviews are compounded by a piecemeal approach to their application across forces. This article calls for detailed guidance, to be adopted by all forces, to include limits on the length of interviews and number of interviews within a defined period and oversight of the non-custody process by an independent and specially trained officer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)818-837
JournalCriminal Law Review
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020


  • Access to legal advice
  • Appropriate adults
  • Consent
  • Police interviews
  • Suspects
  • Voluntary attendance


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