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Successful request for deletion of a caution and personal data

We have successfully secured the deletion of a simple caution and all personal data held by the police about our client, whom we will call Ms Y. Ceri Lloyd-Hughes, a solicitor in our Civil Liberties and Police Misconduct team, acted on behalf of Ms Y.

The police had been called following an argument between Ms Y and her husband at their home in the early hours. They are both of good character and were going through a stressful and exhausting period, with demanding jobs and young children. Officers from the Metropolitan Police Service questioned Ms Y and her husband separately. They carried out an informal interview with Ms Y and got her to sign an incriminating statement, before telling her that she had the right to remain silent and that anything she said may be used against her and before allowing her to speak to a criminal defence solicitor. At the time she signed the statement, Ms Y did not even know that she was suspected of having committed a crime – after all, she had called the police in the first place.

The officers’ behaviour was in in clear breach of the legal safeguards in place for people suspected of having committed a crime. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (‘PACE’) and its codes of practice were introduced to guards against police abuses and to ensure the right to a fair trial. There are a host of safeguards designed to make sure that the rights of individuals suspected of crimes are protected and that any evidence obtained by the police will be admissible in court.

In a highly cynical move, the officers arrested Ms Y immediately after she had signed the statement. She was taken to a police station, where her details were entered into the police systems and she had her fingerprints, DNA and photos taken. She was detained overnight before speaking to a criminal defence solicitor the next morning. Unfortunately, her criminal defence solicitor failed to advise her that the signed statement had been unlawfully obtained and so could not be used in Court against her, and she gave a full account at interview. The police offered her a caution for assault, and, not wanting to risk going to Court, she accepted it. On her way out, a helpful police officer whispered to her that she could appeal the caution.

A caution (also called a ‘simple caution’) immediately becomes a ‘spent’ conviction, but having a caution on your record can have far reaching consequences. Once a caution has been accepted, there are only a limited number of grounds to challenge it.

Ms Y came to Saunders Law for advice on challenging the caution. We prepared representations to the Metropolitan Police Service arguing for the removal of her caution and the deletion of all data held about her by the police. The police agreed, and Ms Y is currently awaiting confirmation that the caution and all her data held on the police’s local and national records (including her fingerprints, DNA and custody photos) have in fact been deleted. She is now planning to make a police complaint against the officers involved.

Contact Saunders Civil Liberties Lawyers Today 

If you or a loved one have received a caution and want to challenge it, you must act quickly as there are strict time limits to take a challenge to court. For more information on the above matter, speak with a member of our team to see if we can help you. Please call us today on 02076324300 or contact us via our online enquiry form.


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