When you are interviewed/ counselled/ questioned in circumstances where you believe that a criminal or misconduct enquiry may be taking place ask the following questions:
- Is this an investigation into a possible criminal offence?
- Am I a witness/ suspect/ accused?
Irrespective of the answer, your rights are the same as any other citizen. If in doubt regarding your response, you have the right to REMAIN SILENT, seek advice and respond at a later date. Thereafter contact your Federation representative on 0300 303 0027.
A senior officer cannot order you to violate your right to remain silent other than to seek an operational statement.
The Assistant Chief Constable is obliged to inform a constable subject to investigation, where it may be inferred that a criminal offence has been committed, that misconduct proceedings may subsequently be taken, irrespective of whether or not criminal proceedings are brought against him/her or of the disposal of any such proceedings.
Conduct Investigations/Complaints against Police.
If you are contacted in respect of a possible misconduct offence you should ask the following questions:
Am I a witness or the officer subject to investigation/complaint?
If you are a witness, you are then obliged to make an operational statement*, see below if requested or ordered.
If you are the constable subject to investigation, you should establish whether an Investigating Officer has been appointed. If an Investigating Officer has been appointed, you should be served with an Investigation Form containing information about the allegation/s and should not submit any response at this time.
You are advised to react as follows: READ and RETAIN the FORM.
Inform the Investigating Officer that you will take advice before making any statement. IMMEDIATELY seek the advice of a Federation representative on 0300 303 0027.
If an Investigating Officer has not been appointed, you may be given the opportunity to comment upon the report, allegation or complaint. In certain cases it may be appropriate to provide an operational statement addressing the report/allegation/complaint. It is important to note that not all complaints lead to a misconduct investigation. If in any doubt, seek advice from a Federation representative on 0300 303 0027.
An operational statement should relate only to operational duties undertaken by you during any particular tour(s) of duty and need not include any comment by you regarding the report, complaint or allegations made against you. If you are the constable subject to investigation you CANNOT be compelled to make any oral or written statement or answer any questions in relation to the complaint prior to seeking advice. If you make any statement in the ordinary course of duty you should be aware that such a statement may subsequently be used in any misconduct proceedings taken against you.
If it is decided to take misconduct proceedings against you, you will be served with a Misconduct Form. This form will indicate whether or not you have the right to be represented at any subsequent hearing by a solicitor. You have 10 WORKING DAYS in which to complete the form and you are strongly advised to seek advice before doing so. Such advice can be obtained from an Area Office Bearer or the Area Conduct Secretary on 0300 303 0027.
IF IN DOUBT, seek advice before saying or writing anything. Do not be pressurised into doing so or into resigning from the service before you have sought advice which can be obtained through your local Federation representative, Area Office Bearer or the Conduct Secretary. Please note that the advice contained herein is not exhaustive and is to be relied upon as a guide only. Members should also make themselves fully aware of the provisions of the Police Service of Scotland (Conduct) Regulations 2013 and 2014.
If you are notified of an intention to interview you regarding a criminal matter, contact your SPF Area Office on 0300 303 0027 and ask to speak to an Office Bearer regarding legal advice and assistance. If you are detained/arrested and require urgent access to the approved federation solicitors, request that the legal helpline, 0344 893 0786 be contacted and a Solicitor will be organised on your behalf.
Any member not contributing to the SPF voluntary fund will be responsible for any legal costs incurred.