The police interview
In the vast majority of criminal cases, interviews with witnesses and persons who are provisionally charged are important elements of the police's investigation.
The interviews, which are transcribed in police reports, become a part of the criminal case. The reports are used during the investigation and possibly also later during the actual trial proceedings.
It is voluntary for a provisionally charged person to give a statement to the police. However, everyone has to state their name, address, and date of birth if the police request it. If you do not provide the police with this information when asked, you risk being given a fixed penalty and arrested.
Where will the interview take place?
If you are provisionally charged, the police will interview you. The police interview will normally take place at the local police station. This applies especially if the interview is expected to take a long time.
The police may also interview you at the scene of the crime or the place where the police contact you (such as your home). In some cases, the interview will be done by phone.
How will the interview be conducted?
Before you are interviewed, the police must inform you of the provisional charge and tell you that you do not have to make a statement.
Your defence counsel is entitled to be present during the interview if you so wish. The defence counsel is allowed to ask supplementary questions during the interview. Read more about the defence counsel.
The police will take down your statement in a police report, which you will be allowed to read through and sign if you agree with the contents. You are not obliged to read or sign the police report. If you have any additions or corrections to the text written by the police, these must also be included in the report.
Sometimes the police may need to interview you several times during the investigation.
Unless you are under arrest, it is voluntary for you to go to the police station to be interviewed. If you are under arrest, you will normally be interviewed at the police station if you wish to make a statement. Read more about arrest.
If you are under 18, a representative from the local authority district where you live will normally have to be present. In some cases, your parents may also be present during an interview.