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Police caution sentence. Is this correct?
Thread poster: Rad Graban

Rad Graban  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:10
English to Slovak
+ ...
Oct 8, 2009

Hi all,

I'm wondering if the following statement as a whole makes sense.

"I must remind you that you are under caution, an as such, you do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you fail to mention when questioned, something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence. Do you understand?"

I am confused how can be a person under caution before the whole caution is read out and the person says that s/he understands? It probably does make a perfect sense to native speakers, so can anyone, please explain it to me or rephrase it?


Edited for missing sentence.

[Edited at 2009-10-08 12:08 GMT]


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Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:10
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
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See PACE Oct 8, 2009

You missed out: Anything you do say may be given in evidence.

If you really want to go into the finer legal points, have a look at Chapter C of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act Here:

http://police.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/operational-policing/2008_PACE_Code_C_(final).pdf?view=Binary

Page 34 deals with the caution.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:10
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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Is it a reminder, perhaps? Oct 8, 2009

Rad Graban wrote:
I'm wondering if the following statement as a whole makes sense.

"I must remind you that you are under caution, an as such, you do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you fail to mention when questioned, something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence. Do you understand?"

I am confused how can be a person under caution before the whole caution is read out and the person says that s/he understands?


He may have been cautioned previously, and now that the interview is about to start, the caution is repeated for the record. Anyway, not all jurisdictions require suspects to be mirandised or to be mirandised in a well-known way.

Does "you are under caution" mean that you have been mirandised or does it simply mean that you have been arrested?


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Rad Graban  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:10
English to Slovak
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TOPIC STARTER
That would make sense Oct 8, 2009

Samuel Murray wrote:
He may have been cautioned previously, and now that the interview is about to start, the caution is repeated for the record. Anyway, not all jurisdictions require suspects to be mirandised or to be mirandised in a well-known way.


I think you might be right, Samuel. "...you are still under caution..." would be more clear though, wouldn't it? Thanks for that.


@Anne. Thanks for the great link.


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Brannigan
Italy
Local time: 02:10
Italian to English
+ ...
under caution as in, it's happening now Oct 8, 2009

You are under caution means that we are in the processing of cautioning you (well, we MAY caution you).

See: The council has asked you to attend an Interview Under Caution because it believes that there are grounds to suspect that you might have committed a criminal offence.

from: http://www.tmbc.gov.uk/cgi-bin/buildpage.pl?mysql=375

[Edited at 2009-10-08 14:12 GMT]


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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:10
Spanish to English
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The caution Oct 8, 2009

The caution is the warning given by police officer from "You do not have to say.....given in evidence". It should be given by the police officer when s/he has grounds for believing that a person has committed an offence and when arresting him/her. The caution must be given before any questions are put. If a person is not under arrest when the caution is given the officer must say so. The officer has to record the caution in his/her pocket book or the interview record, as appropriate. All this in accordance with PACE. This is what we learn as law students.

Maybe the person didn't understand the caution the first time round - the person in question may be foreign and the officer is repeating it to him/her. I wouldn't worry about it too much.


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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:10
Spanish to English
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I must remind you Oct 8, 2009

That would be true except for the fact that it says I must remind you...

The person may have received a letter inviting them for an interview under caution and that is why the interviewer repeats what the person has previously recieved in writing - this could be an option too.

[Editado a las 2009-10-08 15:35 GMT]


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Susanna Garcia  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:10
Italian to English
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caution Oct 8, 2009

In the UK, and I can only say what I know as a police interpreter and not as a lawyer, you are, as far as I've seen, always cautioned at the time of arrest and then reminded of this fact when the police subsequently interview you about the alleged offence.

In addition, to ensure full comprehension, the caution is then broken down into three parts and each part explained, via the interpreter, in easier to understand language, and finally, the suspect is asked questions on the caution to make sure it really has been understood. They also receive information regarding the interview tapes.
Suzi


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:10
French to English
Speaking as a lay native Oct 8, 2009

I have always thought/assumed that "remind" is the key word. The fact of being under caution has already occurred (e.g. by virtue of being under arrest, invited for interview, or whatever). By the time plod opens his mouth, you are already under caution. He is merely reminding you of this, and I'm not sure it matters whether you understand or not. In other words, if you say "no", you're still under caution, as a consequence of some prior event. Ditto if the poor constable were to expire on the spot, before completing his spiel.

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Rad Graban  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:10
English to Slovak
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TOPIC STARTER
Very good explanation. Oct 8, 2009

Charlie Bavington wrote:
I have always thought/assumed that "remind" is the key word. The fact of being under caution has already occurred (e.g. by virtue of being under arrest, invited for interview, or whatever). By the time plod opens his mouth, you are already under caution. He is merely reminding you of this, and I'm not sure it matters whether you understand or not. In other words, if you say "no", you're still under caution, as a consequence of some prior event. Ditto if the poor constable were to expire on the spot, before completing his spiel.


Thanks, Charlie.

Does it mean that "you are under caution" means basicaly "you are here on suspicion of committing a (criminal) offence"?

[Edited at 2009-10-08 17:07 GMT]


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:10
French to English
Again, as a UK layman Oct 8, 2009

Rad Graban wrote:

Does it mean that "you are under caution" means basicaly "you are here on suspicion of committing a (criminal) offence"?

[Edited at 2009-10-08 17:07 GMT]

Not necessarily and not exactly. I understand the purpose of interviews under caution to be evidence gathering. This will naturally include suspects, but you could just be a witness.
One aspect to it is that it attempts to get people to tell the truth as if they were under oath in court. Anything you say under caution can be used in court. And in court, you are under oath. Hence if you are questioned in court, under oath, about things you said under caution, it is obviously in your best interest if the answers and information you give are the same.

This all rather supposes that you think being under oath means anything in this day and age, the offence of perjury notwithstanding. Clearly if you are the sort of person who lies under oath, you could tell the same lies under caution without batting an eyelid. But hey ho, that's progress, they're not allowed to use the rack and the iron maiden any more


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Tatty  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:10
Spanish to English
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grounds for arrest Oct 9, 2009

Yes, the police officer suspects that you have committed an offence, otherwise it would be an unlawful arrest.

The caution is bound up with your right of silence which includes the part about if a suspect fails to mention something at the time of his/her arrest or charge that is later relied upon in his/her defence, the court, when the case goes to trial, may draw inferences eg. if a suspect fails to account for a substance found on him/her. The right of silence is now a qualified right of silence and it is said that it effectively no longer exists.


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Susanna Garcia  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:10
Italian to English
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witness Oct 9, 2009

[quote]Charlie Bavington wrote:



Not necessarily and not exactly. I understand the purpose of interviews under caution to be evidence gathering. This will naturally include suspects, but you could just be a witness.

Witnesses are most definitely not cautioned. They provide written statements and the interview is not recorded.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:10
French to English
Interesting Oct 9, 2009

Susanna Garcia wrote:

Witnesses are most definitely not cautioned. They provide written statements and the interview is not recorded.

Yeah, I knew that was the usual way it worked, but I thought they could interview under caution in the "heat of the moment", as it were, e.g. after breaking up ructions in the street when they are not sure who has done what to whom, but I can't find any evidence (ha ha!) of that on the jolly old web.
I did learn that the HSE and DWP also have the right to interview you under caution, which I didn't know before today. Makes sense, I suppose, since that evidence too will end up being used in court if need be.


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tectranslate ITS GmbH
Local time: 02:10
German
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Just remember, everybody: Oct 9, 2009

Don't Talk to the Police.

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