This event was an informed discussion and debate on what is the scope of the right for vulnerable suspects to effectively participate in police interviews.
The event looked at how vulnerable persons are questioned in police custody. Miscarriages of justice can occur if a person does not understand the process, for example, by confessing to a crime they did not commit. Children and individuals with psychological or psychiatric conditions are most at risk.
Researchers presented the latest findings into whether the legal procedures surrounding the police interview are fit for purpose.
The panel was chaired by Dr Piers von Berg
, Lecturer in Law at the University of Plymouth. Speakers were Dr Miranda Bevan (Goldsmiths University) and Dr Abenaa Owusu-Bempah (London School of Economics).
Local legal professionals, local judiciary, Police, intermediaries who work with vulnerable suspects in Devon and Cornwall, and Youth Offending Teams were invited to attend. The session was of particular interest to human rights and criminal lawyers representing vulnerable suspects in police custody, trainers of police interviewers, the judiciary, researchers and charities working on improvements to the police interviewing process. People with a background in law, policing, mental health or youth work, or generally curious about criminal justice also found this event of interest.