Coronavirus (COVID-19) interview protocol

We have worked with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) on a coronavirus (COVID-19) interview protocol.

This guidance is intended to assist investigators and prosecutors in deciding whether suspects should be interviewed as part of a police investigation during the coronavirus pandemic.

It was first published on 1 April 2020 and is reviewed monthly. It is intended for use only during the coronavirus crisis.

The protocol allows for remote advice to be provided to suspects with their consent.

From 17 May 2021 (in line with stage 3 of the government’s roadmap for reducing COVID-19 restrictions), the protocol will no longer apply in cases involving suspects who are children or vulnerable adults requiring an appropriate adult.

We’ll continue to review the need for the protocol as we approach stage 4 of the roadmap on 21 June. We’re mindful of the fact that withdrawing the protocol can only be achieved and maintained while prevailing COVID conditions remain safe to do so. 

Compliance with PPE requirements and remote advice if COVID positive

On 7 June, we and other protocol signatories met with deputy chief constable (DCC) Nev Kemp, the NPPC lead for custody. Following this meeting, DCC Kemp wrote to the heads of custody and chief officers of all forces to remind them of:

  • the need to ensure compliance with the personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements, as set out in national NPCC guidance, and
  • the signatories' agreement that where a detainee is confirmed as being COVID positive, or strongly believed to be COVID positive, then the use of remote legal advice remains available for these detainees under the interim protocol

Using PPE

If you're visiting police stations or custody facilities, the NPCC has shared interactive guidance (PDF 3 MB) on using PPE.

The 'custody' section includes advice for legal representatives visiting detainees or custody facilities.

(If you're having trouble viewing the interactive PowerPoint on Windows 7, please try another operating system.)

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