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i'm to be interviewed under Police caution. Help/advice please.

(35 Posts)
notguilty Tue 13-Oct-09 22:38:39

I'm a regular poster but have name-changed. Sorry its long but it is important to me and I am very worried.

I had a visit from the Police today. They are returning tomorrow to interview me under caution as I have allegedly threatened a child while out shopping. I'm told that they are coming to my home as there is only her word against mine and if they had more I would be arrested and in the station. Needless to say I am very upset and I didn't threaten the child at all.

This is what happened.

My DC, who is at senior school, had been hit by a child in the year above. DC has been bullied a lot at school and there have been ongoing problems at school. DC and I complained to the school, the other child admitted hitting mine and was punished with a detention. Mine was punished with a lesser detention (no problem there on my part, it was deserved) for swinging out at the child in anger at being name-called although not making contact.

A week later my child and I were at the local shop. The other child was there and mine pointed her out (whispering). I said loudly that there was no problem, it was all in hand and that the Headteacher was aware and would deal with it and told my child to ignore the other one. I don't remember if I also said that it would be a police matter too if necessary but I think I might have done. It all happened about 3 weeks ago or more and so many things have gone on since that I honestly can't recall. All I know is that I certainly didn't threaten the child in any other way.

We left the shop and as we did the other child got into a waiting car. I was facing the child as she did as I was untying my dog from outside the shop so naturally I saw her a little in front of me. My only "crime" was to look in front as my dog can be a bit of a so and so with loud strangers and it was in the evening so I feared that pub-goers might be around and was trying to be alert to this.

As we walked up the road the car carrying the child came past, VERY slowly. The child had the window down and shouted to us "What are you effing staring at? I'll have you tomorrow". My child shouted back (I forget what, something like get lost) and I quickly jumped on this and said that it wasn't acceptable and to ignore the threat.

So, Police told me today that the child has alledged that I threatened her in the shop. My first reaction was - get the CCTV from the shop! they said they had but it was still her word against mine. I asked what I was supposed to have said but they won't tell me until tomorrow.

I know all I can really do is wait til tomorrow, tell the truth and hope that I will be viewed as honest but I feel so vulnerable. I suppose I am hoping that someone can come along who knows about this kind of thing and who can reassure me that as the cautiion is only at home I am not really suspected of acting in a threatening way and that the police are only following it up because they have to follow up all reports like this.

Can anyone advise please?

AvengingGerbil Tue 13-Oct-09 22:42:07

No experience, but I'm sure if you explain it as clearly as you have here you will be fine.

thisisyesterday Tue 13-Oct-09 22:43:24

oh poor you. i would imagine that unless they have witnesses to back the child up then nothing will come of it.

if they felt they had any kind of a case they would have 1.) arrested you and 2.) done it a lot sooner!

i really feel for you though, i was arrested once after someone accused me of theft and it was a hideous experience. I was absolutely innocent and was, quite frankly, scared shitless but also really upset and angry

i asked for a lawyer who laughed when he heard what had gone on and said hecouldn't believe they'd even arrested me

aaaanyway, enough about me, it sounds liek this will all just be a formality and hopeuflly after tomorrow you'll be able to forget all about it.
horrid for you though :-(

HeBewitcheditude Tue 13-Oct-09 22:44:53

Don't accept a caution.

It's an admission of guilt.

hester Tue 13-Oct-09 22:45:24

No experience here either, but all my sympathies. Keep calm and strong and just tell them the truth (I sound like YOUR mother now, don't I?)

Rindercella Tue 13-Oct-09 22:46:10

Oh my God how awful. No advice I'm afraid, other than explain to the police exactly what happened (and the preceeding circumstances) as you have explained them here.

I assume the person driving the car the child was in has corroborated her story?

It is very scary that a child (or anyone for that matter) can make something like this up and cause such worry and potential damage.

Please keep us posted and I sincerely hope that things work out fairly for you.

PeachesMcLean Tue 13-Oct-09 22:48:43

My goodness what an awful experience for you.

I suspect the police are just doing what they have to do given allegations of threatening behaviour. But they won't be interested int aking it further. Just explain it the way you have done here.

DH got into a similar situation. Turned out the complaining family were known to the police as being, well, complainers with no reason. DH got asked a few questions, police officer said we were clearly a "tidy family" and took it no further.

catinthehat2 Tue 13-Oct-09 22:50:41

you need to read this

Mamazonabroomstick Tue 13-Oct-09 22:53:47

if they are coming to your house it will just be a police officer with a pen and paper.

they will ask you for your version of events and write down what you say.

I can;t see how it will go any further than your word against hers so they will advise she drops the charges, but i doubt CPS will do anything anyway.

its really nothing to worry about. i will eat my son's rugby socks if it goes any further than tomorrow's interview.

I think i would make school aware of all this though. they need to be dealing with this more robustly

Thistledew Tue 13-Oct-09 22:54:22

I think that it is unlikely that you will be interviewed under caution, as this type of formal interview is subject to strict procedures and usually done at a police station. Anyone who is interviewed under caution is entitled to have free legal representation prior to the interview, and to have the interview recorded. Normally, the recording is done on a tape, but a written record can be produced. You would have the right to read it back and confirm the contents are accurate, if the latter course is taken.

The police may opt to give you a harassment warning (although from your account as you have given it I would not say that it is warranted). This is basically a warning not to engage in any actions to harass the child or her family in the future. You are normally asked to sign to confirm that you have been given this. It does not form any sort of criminal record (I don't think it would show on a CRB check, but am not absolutely sure of this), but if there were to be further reports of incidents between you and the girl, it may be taken to form evidence to support a charge of harassment.


Ronaldinhio Tue 13-Oct-09 22:55:39

everyone interviewed by the police when investigating a complaint is interviewed under caution afaik
even witnesses

allow them to tell you what has been alleged and what they know
be respectful and helpful that's all you are required to do
after that it is for them to decide if they have enough evidence to push for some sort of case against you

you have nothing to be afraid of if it is simply as you have stated
discuss the bullying with the police and this further developments and your worries about escalation

TheCrackFox Tue 13-Oct-09 22:55:41

Do not accept a caution - if you ever want to work with children this may well prevent you from doing so.

Slambang Tue 13-Oct-09 22:56:39

You poor thing. It sounds like the other family are trying to intimidate (bully) you and your dc. It's very likely they are known to the police already. I suggest you could also ask the police to discuss the matter with the school (who will presumably know that it was your dc getting bullied by the other kid).

Just tell the truth and it will shine through that you are the one being rational and honest. The police are used to investigating complaints that are made for spurious reasons so they will believe you.

BiteOfFun Tue 13-Oct-09 22:57:58

Good advice here- just tell the truth, and you'll be fine. Don't accept a caution.

notguilty Tue 13-Oct-09 22:59:42

S* catinthehat! Is it really that bad, do people really need that sort of approach? I'm not saying they don't, I'm just shocked that its felt they do need to take that stance.

Thank you all for your comforting support. Its a lonely night here and I appreciate it.

PS when I posted this my pc went dodgy and it seemed like I had lost everything and it hadn't registered here so I copied what I have put above on the chat forum, so forgive me if I jump from one to the other and probably get myself in a tizz in the process.

catinthehat2 Tue 13-Oct-09 23:03:42

Notguilty - the writer is as far as I know still a serving policeman and an award winning blogger.

notguilty Tue 13-Oct-09 23:06:36

catinthehat, ruddy hell, thats scary. All credit to the man though.

On a different note, is he allowed to do that as a sserving police officer or is it all done on the quiet, as in if his superiors got to know who he is he would be in deep poo?

Thistledew Tue 13-Oct-09 23:08:22

Ronaldinhio- only those suspected of committing an offence are interviewed under caution. Being interviewed under caution means that the interviewing officer will recite the following to you at the start of the interview:

" You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention, when questioned, anything that you later rely on in court. Anything you do say will be given in evidence."

There is a difference between being interviewed under caution and being given a caution. Being given a caution refers to an official record being made on your criminal record that you have received a formal police warning. This is done only under arrest at a police station.

ImSoNotTelling Tue 13-Oct-09 23:08:25

I think catinthehat's thing is probably very true. I have some experience of that myself (didn't ask for a solicitor as thought everything would be fine - how wrong I was).

The bit at the end about copying the professionals (ie professional criminals) is correct I'm sure.

catinthehat2 Tue 13-Oct-09 23:09:24

He got into deep poo this is the story

Ronaldinhio Tue 13-Oct-09 23:10:20

just been reasding the blog catinthehat

notguilty Tue 13-Oct-09 23:13:26

Thistledew, I just asked that on chat following a scary remark. Thank you for clearing it up and reassuring me.

catinthehat2 Tue 13-Oct-09 23:13:44

Its good isn't it - but don't forget this is an archive and he doesn't post any more.

notguilty Tue 13-Oct-09 23:15:52

Oh and by the way if the police suggest they caution me at the end of the interview I will not go for it (if I am allowed not to go for it!) as to me that sounds like I am admitting did wrong and I didn't. I would be inclined to say no, let the child and her family take it to court and I will stand there and tell the truth.

Or am I making a big mistake if I do?

edam Tue 13-Oct-09 23:21:08

I'm not an expert but think they can only issue a formal caution at a police station?

At any rate, do not accept a caution - it is a legal admission of guilt.

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