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Contacting people in custody

You will not be able to directly contact a person in custody.

A person in custody has the right to nominate one person who will be informed of the situation. If you are the nominated person, you will be contacted by the investigating officer(s) if there is an update.

If you are not the nominated person:

  • the Custody Unit will not update you on the progress of any investigation due to the Data Protection Act
  • advisors on the 101 non-emergency line will not give out information about a person in custody

If the person in custody is under 17 and the person enquiring is their parent or guardian, information will be given without the consent of the person.

Right to a phone call 

The person in police custody has the right to one phone call to inform a relative or friend they are in custody. This is known as the nominated person.

The police have the right to refuse permission for the phone call and nomination in exceptional circumstances. This could be in cases where a person is arrested for committing a crime and the person they wish to get in contact with has also been involved in the crime.

Rights in custody

For further information about rights in custody, visit GOV.UK.

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