5. What Happens in an Interview?

An interview is a NO WIN situation. Don’t incriminate other people by talking.

If the police are interviewing you, it is because they don’t currently have enough evidence.

The best place to construct a defence is after you’ve left the police station, with your solicitor or witnesses, not under pressure in the hands of the police.

Refuse to be interviewed until your solicitor gets there. If they can’t be contacted within a couple of hours then you may just have to give a no comment interview on your own.

A good solicitor will sometimes suggest that you make a prepared statement in interview. In that case, you or your solicitor will read the statement and you should answer “no comment” to any more questions. Make sure they are a solicitor experienced in protest law, and you understand their reasons for deviating from “no comment”. Do not follow advice from a duty solicitor to answer police questions.

If you respond to small-talk questions but then stop talking when they start asking questions about the crime, it looks bad in court. So just say “no comment” to everything.

“No Comment” is for your own protection and for the protection of others. If your friend in the next cell knows you aren’t going to talk, they will feel better able not to talk themselves.

For a longer discussion, see the booklet “NO COMMENT” produced by the Legal Defence and Monitoring Group.

Key Messages

  • No Comment
  • You do not need to answer police questions, so don’t.

  • No Personal Details
  • You don't have to give details under ANY stop and search power.

  • No Duty Solicitor
  • Use a recommended solicitor with protest experience.

  • No Caution
  • They admit guilt for an alleged offence that might never get to court.

  • What Power?
  • Ask "What power?" to challenge a police officer to act lawfully.