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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about policing or the law? You may be able to find the answer here.

Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

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The police are not allowed to inform anyone of the fact that a person has been detained without their express permission (unless the person in custody is a juvenile).

It is very unlikely that the custody staff will give you information about any person detained in the cells. The detained person does have the right to a phone call and the right to have someone told of his or her detention (except in specific circumstances).

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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.