Why say no comment at a police interview?

Why say no comment at a police interview?

Why say no comment at a police interview? In the context of UK law enforcement and legal proceedings, the concept of giving a ‘No Comment’ response during a police interview holds significant importance. When an individual is called in for a police interview, they might face a dilemma about how to respond to the questions posed by the police. One option is to reply with ‘No Comment’ to the questions or allegations made against them.

Saying ‘No Comment’ in a police interview essentially means that the individual chooses not to respond to the questions or allegations. This can be applied to the entire interview or specific parts where the individual might not feel confident about responding without legal representation. It’s important to note that saying ‘No Comment’ is neither an admission of guilt nor a declaration of innocence. It is simply an exercise of the right to remain silent.

No Comment

Many people worry that choosing the ‘No Comment’ route might be perceived as an indirect admission of guilt, suggesting that they have something to hide. However, it’s crucial to understand that the police cannot charge someone with a crime solely based on their decision to go ‘No Comment’ in the interview. Similarly, a court cannot find someone guilty just because they chose not to respond during a police interview.

Serving the minimum term

There are practical advantages to saying ‘No Comment’, such as having the time to think about your responses without feeling rushed, ensuring that your answers can’t be used against you in court, and avoiding admissions to conduct that, while not illegal, could be embarrassing or damaging.

However, there are also situations where it might not be beneficial to say ‘No Comment’. For instance, if the police have substantial evidence against you, or if the questions are merely to establish your identity and not related to criminal activity, it might be better to respond.

Since the introduction of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, the implications of saying ‘No Comment’ have become more complex. It’s advisable to consult with a criminal defence solicitor to understand the potential consequences and make an informed decision.

In court, every defendant has the privilege against self-incrimination, but whether it is advisable to remain silent is a different matter. The decision should be made in consultation with a lawyer who understands the specifics of the case.

Witnesses in court generally cannot say ‘No Comment’, except in cases where their comments might lead to self-incrimination. Refusal to answer questions in court can lead to being held in contempt of court.

In summary, saying ‘No Comment’ during a police interview is a powerful tool, but it must be used judiciously. It’s important to understand the implications and seek legal advice to navigate this aspect of the legal process effectively.