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Police Station Representatives


Ether
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Police Station Representatives, we have all had contact with them during Interviews, many of whom appear to be ex cops. 
 

Has anyone ever retired and gone this route? 

Is it a viable route to top up one’s pension? 
 

Interested in hearing anyones experiences. 

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Had the offer of the job from a solicitor who I knew well, socially through Rugby.  He was also a very good defence solicitor. I turned him down saying "Barry I have spent my life putting your clients where they should be, I could not be involved in assisting them to evade justice"   He said that he fully understood and accepted my decision.  It all came down to my ethics and his.

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On 22/04/2022 at 13:48, Zulu 22 said:

Had the offer of the job from a solicitor who I knew well, socially through Rugby.  He was also a very good defence solicitor. I turned him down saying "Barry I have spent my life putting your clients where they should be, I could not be involved in assisting them to evade justice"   He said that he fully understood and accepted my decision.  It all came down to my ethics and his.

I take issue with that comment. Defence lawyers are there to give their client legal advice and that the police and prosecution fight fairly. There is nothing immoral about that and you describing their role as helping clients evade justice is just insulting. Justice isn't just about gathering evidence or convicting people, it's also about ensuring everyone gets a fair hearing and due process. Defence lawyers are just as important to that process as police officers, or the prosecution. Being in the police for 30 years, dealing with criminals every day, has  made you very cynical. With comments like that sometimes I wonder if you'd be happy to get rid of due process altogether, and simply have an officer determine guilt or innocence on the spot.

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I don't understand why some officers seem to have a personal dislike of defence lawyers. Yes, a particularly good one might make your job a bit more difficult but so what? They aren't there to make your job easier. And as the Secret Barrister points out, if you've done your job properly and can prove beyond reasonable doubt their client is guilty, then you should have nothing to worry about.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Equin0x said:

I don't understand why some officers seem to have a personal dislike of defence lawyers. Yes, a particularly good one might make your job a bit more difficult but so what? They aren't there to make your job easier. And as the Secret Barrister points out, if you've done your job properly and can prove beyond reasonable doubt their client is guilty, then you should have nothing to worry about.

Many police officers dislike legal advisors, in my experience this is usually because they lack the requisite skill set to deal With them effectively. If the evidence isn’t there and all the police are hanging a conviction on is an admission, and then that’s ruined because a legal advisor gives advice. Then some officers will take that personally.

Police forces really don’t invest in their officers and the standard of interviews can be hit and miss. 

Legal advisors have their place, and any of us would be grateful for them if it were us on the wrong side of the table. 

Edited by Ether
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2 hours ago, Equin0x said:

I take issue with that comment. Defence lawyers are there to give their client legal advice and that the police and prosecution fight fairly. There is nothing immoral about that and you describing their role as helping clients evade justice is just insulting. Justice isn't just about gathering evidence or convicting people, it's also about ensuring everyone gets a fair hearing and due process. Defence lawyers are just as important to that process as police officers, or the prosecution. Being in the police for 30 years, dealing with criminals every day, has  made you very cynical. With comments like that sometimes I wonder if you'd be happy to get rid of due process altogether, and simply have an officer determine guilt or innocence on the spot.

I am sure that the original poster, "Ether" would appreciate the points I have made

You seem to be easily offended.  I merely informed him that I would be opposed to assisting his clients to evade their just deserts.  I socialised with him raising money for charity and I also played Rugby with him and socialised regularly.  He fully understood where I was coming from and he respected my decision.  The Prosecution are correctly bound by the Rules of Evidence and stay within the limits. The defence are not so constrained and, you would be amazed at some of the defences which are invented. To help understand that I will give one e4xamp,e involving my solicitor friend.  I was attending Court when he appeared and we exchanged greetings. He asked which case I was involved in and his reply was "Oh ####".  He disappeared rather abruptly. Around 10 minutes later a member of his chambers appeared with the same court papers to defend the client.  In Court it was alleged that I had given the client a good hiding. His Girl friend attended court and gave evidence that on his release from custody she noticed, whilst in bed with him, that he was covered with heavy bruising and he had difficulty breathing and that he could hardly move. She attended hospital with him.  The defence than called the Hospital Doctor who treated him. The Doctor gave evidence and stated that the man has no bruising at all, he showed no physical signs of discomfort or difficulty in breathing. The only evidence of that being so was what the defendant was actually telling him. He caused X Rays to be taken and these showed no signs of any injury. The girl friend and he had tried to concoct a story to put forward in his defence and to mitigate his actions.  He received a sentence of 6 months.  Now my solicitor friend knew what was to be alleged and, when he realised who the officer was to whom these allegations were being made he would appear in Court to make those allegations, hence a partner taking over the case.  That is just a quick example for my reasoning.  

I am sure that there are dozens of officers who comment on here who have known of concocted defences and of defendants blatantly  telling lies.

I was sat through a lecture by a High Court Judge who said that if a person said that they were guilty but would not plea guilty then he would have a serious ethical question.  If the person said they were Not Guilty that was a different matter, even though the evidence screamed the opposite.  There have been case of Solicitors and Barristers being prosecuted and struck off when they have been caught out inventing defences for clients.

It is one thing for a Lawyer to advise their clients to "Make no comment" and another for fabricating evidence and allegations.

I am sure that the original poster "Ether" recognised and appreciate my reply as he did signify with a "Like"

Edited by Zulu 22
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1 hour ago, Ether said:

Many police officers dislike legal advisors, in my experience this is usually because they lack the requisite skill set to deal With them effectively. If the evidence isn’t there and all the police are hanging a conviction on is an admission, and then that’s ruined because a legal advisor gives advice. Then some officers will take that personally.

Police forces really don’t invest in their officers and the standard of interviews can be hit and miss. 

Legal advisors have their place, and any of us would be grateful for them if it were us on the wrong side of the table. 

I can see why it would be frustrating, but that legal adviser is simply doing their job and giving the client the best possible advice for their situation. They aren't there to make the polices job easier. It's nothing personal, they are just doing their duty, like the officers are doing their duty by arresting and interviewing. What alternative would these officers suggest I wonder? Do they think a suspect in that situation should be given misleading advice to trick them into thinking its best to confess?

 

24 minutes ago, Zulu 22 said:

There have been case of Solicitors and Barristers being prosecuted and struck off when they have been caught out inventing defences for clients.

It is one thing for a Lawyer to advise their clients to "Make no comment" and another for fabricating evidence and allegations.

But that's something different entirely, you're talking about them actually breaking the rules. Of course I agree in those situations they should be struck off.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Zulu 22 said:

You seem to be easily offended.  I merely informed him that I would be opposed to assisting his clients to evade their just deserts.  I socialised with him raising money for charity and I also played Rugby with him and socialised regularly.  He fully understood where I was coming from and he respected my decision.  The Prosecution are correctly bound by the Rules of Evidence and stay within the limits. The defence are not so constrained and, you would be amazed at some of the defences which are invented. To help understand that I will give one e4xamp,e involving my solicitor friend.  I was attending Court when he appeared and we exchanged greetings. He asked which case I was involved in and his reply was "Oh ####".  He disappeared rather abruptly. Around 10 minutes later a member of his chambers appeared with the same court papers to defend the client.  In Court it was alleged that I had given the client a good hiding. His Girl friend attended court and gave evidence that on his release from custody she noticed, whilst in bed with him, that he was covered with heavy bruising and he had difficulty breathing and that he could hardly move. She attended hospital with him.  The defence than called the Hospital Doctor who treated him. The Doctor gave evidence and stated that the man has no bruising at all, he showed no physical signs of discomfort or difficulty in breathing. The only evidence of that being so was what the defendant was actually telling him. He caused X Rays to be taken and these showed no signs of any injury. The girl friend and he had tried to concoct a story to put forward in his defence and to mitigate his actions.  He received a sentence of 6 months.  Now my solicitor friend knew what was to be alleged and, when he realised who the officer was to whom these allegations were being made he would appear in Court to make those allegations, hence a partner taking over the case.  That is just a quick example for my reasoning.  

I am sure that there are dozens of officers who comment on here who have known of concocted defences and of defendants blatantly  telling lies.

I was sat through a lecture by a High Court Judge who said that if a person said that they were guilty but would not plea guilty then he would have a serious ethical question.  If the person said they were Not Guilty that was a different matter, even though the evidence screamed the opposite.  There have been case of Solicitors and Barristers being prosecuted and struck off when they have been caught out inventing defences for clients.

It is one thing for a Lawyer to advise their clients to "Make no comment" and another for fabricating evidence and allegations.

I am sure that the original poster "Ether" recognised and appreciate my reply as he did signify with a "Like"

This is a very difficult one to not generalise, because you make some valid points, but at the same time it’s certainly not all lawyers that would act unethically.

But as with any job there are bad eggs. 

I am quite critical of the police and how little they invest in investigative interviewing, certainly when I have been on courses like Tier 2, I was appalled at the standard of officers who have decades of experience. Some officers really take it personally when a legal advisor derails what they think is an easy charge, which in my experience was invariably because that same officer hadn’t bothered to chase the evidence down sufficiently.

I once had an officer from another force whilst I was dealing with a rape warn me about a Barrister who liked to attend police stations, apparently he was a nightmare. That officer was shocked when I just wasn’t bothered, it wasn’t until that day I realised how poorly cops handle legal advisors and how badly most forces set their officers up for failure. 
 

HOWEVER, I must caveat that with, the workload and total lack of time these same officers have to dispose of investigations whilst still being a slave to the radio. 
 

I have come across some abysmal legal advisors for very differing reasons, some are not interested and do their clients no service at all with the poor advice they give. Others are overbearing and try to attack procedures or are just obstructive, and that takes appropriate handling. 
 

I have met some amazing legal advisors, and at the start of my career one totally messed me up and I had to stop the interview, totally my fault. That legal advisor stopped after and took the time to provide feedback which to this day I use. He did that on a number of occasions, despite being a pain in the as* in interview. That’s the game after all.
 

 

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20 minutes ago, Equin0x said:

I can see why it would be frustrating, but that legal adviser is simply doing their job and giving the client the best possible advice for their situation. They aren't there to make the polices job easier. It's nothing personal, they are just doing their duty, like the officers are doing their duty by arresting and interviewing. What alternative would these officers suggest I wonder? Do they think a suspect in that situation should be given misleading advice to trick them into thinking its best to confess?

 

But that's something different entirely, you're talking about them actually breaking the rules. Of course I agree in those situations they should be struck off.

I agree, this is the great game.

Suspects job is to not incriminate themselves.

Legal Advisors job is to limit the damage and put some doubt in the room. 

Police job is to gather the evidence and challenge the suspect to get to the truth. 

As soon as you see it as personal, you have already lost. 

I will be honest, I love investigate interviewing, it is a skill. Done right you can have amazing results, but done wrong it’s a waste of time. 

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I’ve had numerous dealings in interviews and at the other side of the counter as a custody Sgt. I’ve generally found them to have more faces than the town hall clock. But that’s the business we’re in and they’re paid by results so to speak. When they see someone in uniform - stab vest etc - they seize upon it and will play dirty if it suits. Or will disrupt or try and manipulate the situation thinking they can seize upon a lack of experience and/or knowledge.

I haven’t and do not intend to go down the CID route - yet (there’s still life in this old dog) - but listening to some DCs is interesting as to how things work. Some have given me good advice about dealing with legal reps. When I first joined I always looked to get better at interviewing by taking a DC or DS into interview to offer pointers for the future. Some have told me about reps literally asking do you want a full admission or no comment.

I’ve often heard DCs say there’s no better feeling when the boot is on the other foot and you have a clever reps pants down. And have literally seen some put their head in their hands during interview.

Like it or not they are a necessity in the justice system and it’s the first thing I’d be asking for if I was locked up. It amazes me how many people decline free legal advice even for serious offences.

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, POM0272 said:

I’ve had numerous dealings in interviews and at the other side of the counter as a custody Sgt. I’ve generally found them to have more faces than the town hall clock. But that’s the business we’re in and they’re paid by results so to speak. When they see someone in uniform - stab vest etc - they seize upon it and will play dirty if it suits. Or will disrupt or try and manipulate the situation thinking they can seize upon a lack of experience and/or knowledge.

I haven’t and do not intend to go down the CID route - yet (there’s still life in this old dog) - but listening to some DCs is interesting as to how things work. Some have given me good advice about dealing with legal reps. When I first joined I always looked to get better at interviewing by taking a DC or DS into interview to offer pointers for the future. Some have told me about reps literally asking do you want a full admission or no comment.

I’ve often heard DCs say there’s no better feeling when the boot is on the other foot and you have a clever reps pants down. And have literally seen some put their head in their hands during interview.

Like it or not they are a necessity in the justice system and it’s the first thing I’d be asking for if I was locked up. It amazes me how many people decline free legal advice even for serious offences.

Feedback is a gift, it’s why interviews should be peer reviewed and why the CoP recommend it. But the practicality of that in modern policing is highly questionable unless you are on a major crime team, dedicated sexual offences team etc. 

I have been lucky enough to play that legal advisor game and get ahead on a number of occasions.

It starts as soon as they walk in, most cops think treating them badly is the answer, but usually the opposite is the best approach. But you won’t always win and that’s important to understand. 
I had one walk out and call me a bast**d because I got one over on him, we shook hands laughed and he promised to get me back. 
 

Why people refuse legal advice is a mystery really, and why some allow them to talk is even more strange. In most cases no good comes of talking in an interview unless you are 100% innocent of any crime and you know it. 

Edited by Ether
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Well, for such a small original post, the replies are mega😳

I wouldn’t do it, only because it’s not for me, but why not, if it suits the ex-officers skills and opportunities.   It’s not as if either party is really disadvantaged and for many occasions, it’s a game. And we don’t have to be in the legal system for long to recognise that the defendant can say entirely what they want ….. or not say😳

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19 hours ago, Ether said:

Some officers really take it personally when a legal advisor derails what they think is an easy charge, which in my experience was invariably because that same officer hadn’t bothered to chase the evidence down sufficiently.

What do they think the legal adviser should do instead then, in that situation?

 

19 hours ago, Ether said:

I have met some amazing legal advisors, and at the start of my career one totally messed me up and I had to stop the interview, totally my fault. That legal advisor stopped after and took the time to provide feedback which to this day I use. He did that on a number of occasions, despite being a pain in the as* in interview. That’s the game after all.

That's how it should be I think. Treat it more like a football match where you try to beat the other side but still shake hands at the end, instead of a war where you take it personally that a legal adviser would dares to prioritize their clients best interests over yours. And if it really bothers you that suspects have a right to legal advice, write to your MP asking for a change in the law. I don't see it being a popular suggestion but who knows.

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1 hour ago, Equin0x said:

What do they think the legal adviser should do instead then, in that situation?

 

That's how it should be I think. Treat it more like a football match where you try to beat the other side but still shake hands at the end, instead of a war where you take it personally that a legal adviser would dares to prioritize their clients best interests over yours. And if it really bothers you that suspects have a right to legal advice, write to your MP asking for a change in the law. I don't see it being a popular suggestion but who knows.

I do not think there are any officers who are  bothered about a suspect having legal representation as they are fully entitled to it and, rightly so. The Police have to comply with Rules of Evidence but a representative does not have the same hindrance.  It is just that there are a few whose ethics are very questionable.

Edited by Zulu 22
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Just now, Zulu 22 said:

I do not think there are any officers who are  bothered about a suspect having legal representation as they are fully entitled to it. The Police have to comply with Rules of Evidence but a representative does not have the same hindrance.  It is just that there are a few whose ethics are very questionable.

In the situation that Ether described, where the police don't have much evidence and are hoping to get a confession, would you say it's ethical for a legal adviser to inform his client the evidence is weak and strongly recommend a no comment?

 

 

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