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Detained persons are treated in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, Codes of Practice. The police treat detained persons fairly and reasonably and will endeavour to deal with them expeditiously and to release them as soon as the need for person to be detained no longer applies.

The detained person has certain rights and entitlements whilst detained in custody, the basic versions of which are produced below. The rights are:

  • right to have someone informed of their arrest
  • right to consult in private with a solicitor and that free independent legal advice is available
  • right to consult the Codes of Practice.

Under certain limited circumstances any or all of these rights can be delayed but not denied.

The other entitlements that detained persons have, in brief are:

  • The detained person whilst in police custody shall be offered at least two light meals and one main meal in any 24 hour period (dietary requirements will be taken into consideration as far as is practicable).
  • Drinks will be provided at meal times and upon reasonable request between meal times.
  • Brief outdoor exercise will be offered daily if practicable.
  • medical attention can be either sought by the police or by request from the detained person.
  • At least an 8 hour uninterrupted rest period if person detained overnight.

To read the full Codes of Practice see website in related information.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.