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DS(17) on unconditional bail without charge. Any advice about next steps please?

(5 Posts)
anonymoustoo Thu 06-Dec-12 23:23:52

Hi, I'm hoping someone can explain what might happen next in this situation please, and advise me about whether I should do anything ?

My DS (17) was arrested back in June/July after he entered an ex girlfriend's house at night and took her phone (he was drunk and can't really explain what he was doing, except he says it was 'some sort of revenge'). He admitted the offence, returned the phone, was charged with burglary and received a reprimand.

A few weeks later, our house was burgled at night. DS was arrested on suspicion of burgling our own house, but was released without charge (he had an alibi and other facts showed it wasn't him).

On three other occasions since then he has been spoken to regarding burglaries. On one occasion he was arrested, interviewed and released unconditionally without charge; on the most recent occasion, I could prove he was with me at the time of the offence so he was not arrested. But on one other occasion in Sept, he was arrested, interviewed, and bailed unconditionally without charge.

The grounds for bailing him rather than releasing him unconditionally seemed quite flimsy to me: a witness saw "two males with blue tracksuits", and that was all. There was an identification 'parade' and he was not identified. Someone else was charged with the burglary but has since been released...

DS is due to report to the police station tomorrow, at the end of his bail period. I'm going with him. Can anyone tell me what to expect, please?

Also, I have another concern/question regarding the ongoing police visits/questioning... :

I have assumed that (a) once someone is on the police's 'list of suspects' they will get visited, and (b) the police do a certain amount of hassling of young people involved with minor law-breaking, as a sort of unofficial deterrent. It has seemed (more-or-less) fair enough, up until recently.

But a couple of weekends ago, a neighbour had an attempted burglary. He has heard about my DS's first arrest through the local 'grapevine' and has probably seen the police visit and leave our house with DS on one or more occasions since. He decided my son was the culprit, and threatened him.

I went round to talk to him and he basically said 'everyone knows' my son is a burglar and he should 'watch his back'. He also said 'perhaps' my house would get a brick through the window. I know he was angry and ranting (and I understnad why, because I know how horrible it feels to have a break-in) so although I pointed out that if anything did happen I would tell the police what he had said to me, I did not report it.

The neighbour reported the burglary to the police but we haven't had a visit. My son was with a group of friends at the time, so we are not concerned about him being arrested, but I am beginning to feel that the police visits are putting my DS and potentially other members of the family at risk of harassment or worse. I have been getting dirty looks in the street, presumably because the neighbour has told other people that he 'knows' it was my DS. Obviously it is causing neighbourhood gossip, and people assume 'there's no smoke without fire'.

So, I am wondering how long we can expect to keep having visits from the police? And I am wondering whether I should say anything at the police station tomorrow?

Clearly it is going to sound ridiculous to say what I'm thinking, which is basically "Please stop visiting us, because my son made one stupid mistake but is not a habitual burglar, and his reputation and our safety are now being damaged" hmm I do understand that he is on their list of suspects because of what he did, and I'm also aware that if I say anything like this, I'm going to sound like I'm telling the police what to do (which I don't want to do) and like one of those mothers who are naive and stupid and never think their sons do anything wrong (which I'm not).

Are there any police officers, lawyers or other experienced people out there who could give me their advice/opinions, please?

I cant advise on everything, but regarding the threats made by your neighbour, report that now. You dont need to make an official complaint, just have an officer make a note of it.

If something ever did happen it would look better iyswim.

Hopefully someone will be along soon to advise on the rest.

anonymoustoo Fri 07-Dec-12 00:00:09

Thanks wannabe. You're right. I hate falling out with neighbours.

mycatlikestwiglets Fri 07-Dec-12 09:28:29

I can't give you proper advice as this isn't my area but I'm sure there's a stage when continued visits by the police become harrassment. There's continued police involvement as a deterrent, and there's police harrassment with all the unpleasant consequences you are now experiencing. I think given your situation if you can afford some proper legal advice it would be worth paying for and I echo what wannabe said about logging your neighbour's comments with the police.

anonymoustoo Fri 07-Dec-12 17:34:39

Thanks mycat.

I went with my son when he answered bail today. We waited 45 minutes. The officer dealing with it couldn't be found. Finally, the desk officer (who was very pleasant and helpful) went to track down some info and came back saying the file was marked 'no further action' and we should have been told this, and needn't have come.

She asked if I wanted to make a complaint, but I have said I'd like to speak to someone and get more information before I decide whether circumstances warrant this. I'm waiting to hear from the officer concerned.

I'll report the neighbour's comments at the same time, so they're taken in context rather than in a random phone call to 101.

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