What ID is needed to visit a client at a police station?
I’ve been asked to attend a client who has been arrested. Instead, I will send an accredited representative. What form of identification do they need to show when visiting a police station?
Police station duty representatives are governed by Police and Criminal Evidence Act Code C.
Under paragraph 6.12, the police officer may admit:
- “a solicitor who holds a current practising certificate”, or
- “an accredited or probationary representative included on the register of representatives maintained by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA)”
Paragraphs 6.12A to 6.13 provide that they shall be admitted unless an officer of inspector rank or above considers it will hinder the investigation (where hindrance does not include giving proper legal advice to a detainee).
In exercising the discretion whether to admit, the officer should consider:
- the identity and status of the representative
- whether they are of suitable character to provide legal advice, and
- any other matters in any written letter of authorisation provided by the solicitor sending the representative
Forms of ID include a letter of authorisation on headed notepaper, signed by a partner, for example.
Solicitors may find it prudent to take a form of ID as well. Some firms may be able to produce their own photo ID cards.
The Criminal Law Solicitors' Association (CLSA) and the London Criminal Courts Solicitors' Association (LCCSA) also provide an ID card.
For the LAA duty scheme, the CLSA and LCCSA cards are the only forms of ID approved for use by the LAA in line with the current crime contract specification.
While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this article, it does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. The Law Society does not accept any responsibility for liabilities arising as a result of reliance upon the information given.
Have you got a practice question?
Call the Practice Advice Service on 020 7320 5675 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Practice Advice Service is staffed Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.