Is an interview carried out abroad admissible?

23 November 2020

Not reviewed after the date of publication

Question: 

Will an interview with a suspect carried out by officers abroad be regarded as admissible?

The suspect will be given a UK caution and the interview will be sent back to the investigating force in the UK to make the charging decision.

Answer:

Determining the jurisdiction of an offence is of primary importance. The responsibility for this lies with the CPS. Please find information in the link below on the guidance they follow to determine this:

https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/jurisdiction

We have provided some information below that may assist, but if your query relates to a specific set of circumstances, we would recommend that you contact the CPS who will be able to offer you support and guidance with regards to seeking prosecution and evidence applicable to the exact circumstances of the case:

Investigations carried out by non-UK police services abroad
Investigations that are carried out by a non-UK police service abroad, whereby they need to speak to a suspect about this offence will be carried out by them, in accordance with the law of their country. Officers from a foreign force would not be required to abide by PACE to do this, and therefore, giving the caution before interview would not be required. PACE relates to a 'constable' – see section 80 of the Police Act 1996 for a definition.

Any information that is acquired through such an investigation could potentially be requested by other police forces, including those from a different country, should it be deemed for the purposes of the detection of crime.

Investigations carried out by a UK police service and offence is to be prosecuted by a UK court
Investigations which relate to offences that are to be prosecuted by a UK court must be carried out in accordance with UK law. Therefore, any evidence tendered in support of such a prosecution, by a 'constable' of the UK must be lawfully obtained. This would include any interview that the constable requires to carry out with the suspect. Such an interview must be carried out in accordance with PACE and the PACE Codes of Conduct.

Where there is a requirement for the UK police to deal with a suspect for an offence, extradition of the suspect, in certain circumstances may be considered. Please see the link below which provides some further information:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/extradition-processes-and-review

To read more legislation about this, login to the legal database. 

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