I our view all reps should carry a recognised ID card. The issue first arose at Lewisham some years ago after a member of the public gained access to a client simply by claiming to be a rep. All reps should carry a card as it is simply practical to do so.However it is not mandatory for all police station work.
PACE (February 2017 revision) only says the police under Code C 6.12 that the police officer should be of a rank of Superintendent or above to exclude a rep. They should check the rep against the LAA list. The LAA list is not up to date of course so its a bit daft. The only reason for exclusion at 16.12A is hindering the investigation.Moreover under 6.13 the Superintendent should take into account whether the identity and status of an accredited or probationary representative have been satisfactorily established.
It is a common misconception that DSCC have a role in the identification of solicitors and reps. Not all reps will have a listing on the DSCC. The correct list is maintained by the LAA.
The General Criminal contract (6.63) does stipulate the need for an ID card. It basically says reps covering duty cases should have ID cards. The contract also (9.46) says that ID cards are required where there are local instructions in place. Presumably the cards are not needed for own client matters or where there are no local instructions.6.63 You must ensure that all staff undertaking Police Station Duty Solicitor work carry an identification card as specified by us for production when attending Police Stations.9.46 Where required by local instructions, all staff undertaking Police Station Duty Solicitor work must carry an identification card as specified by us for production when attending Police Stations.
In summary reps do not always need ID. But that's just me being a pedantic lawyer! We still advise reps to carry ID. Its just sensible when custody decide to be daft.PROCESS
1. First off you need to find a Supervising Solicitor. Your supervising solicitor needs to sign a form (see below) confirming that they are acting as your supervising solicitor and that you are a suitable person. The attached form was the one used during the Validation Exercise from a few years agoso it is not up to date but it should get you started at least. If you find a copy of the correct form do please send me a copy.
To be a Supervising Solicitor you must be employed by a holder of the General Criminal Contract and be a current police station duty solicitor or alternatively a solicitor who is acceptable as meeting the Crime Category Supervisor Standard.
The supervising Solicitor signs the certificate of fitness declaring that to the best of their knowledge the rep is of suitable character to provide legal advice at police stations.
In determining this, the supervisor should consider any criminal convictions and read the relevant guidance produced by the Criminal Law Committee of The Law Society and make a professional judgement as to whether the individual is of suitable character to provide advice and assistance at police stations.
A candidate with a criminal record is unlikely to be suitable unless the conviction was for a minor offence and is not of recent date e.g. speeding. A serving police officer, a special constable or an individual who is employed in any other capacity that may cause a conflict of interest when undertaking criminal defence service work is not eligible to become a representative.
2. The application form must be submitted to the PSRS and will need to be signed by your supervisor. The form is below
The form should be sent to:
Police Station Representative Service (PSRS)
Sheffield S97 3FS
Tel: 08457 500 620
The list is maintained by Miss Freddi Linford
3. You should of course check that you are on the list. We often find errors and omissions on the list. Any amendments can be requested by sending an email to:
4. Its also worth noting that to remain an accredited rep you need to keep the Police Station Representative Service (PSRS) up to date at all times. You must advise the PSRS when:
Your or your employer's address changes or
Your Supervising Solicitor changes
5. You must of course also do the minimum police station attendances per year and at least the minimum CPD hours per year.
6. Finally apply for the ID card. Two organisations issue cards:
a. The Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association (CLSA) card cost is £25 for CLSA members and £35 for non members. The cards need to be renewed annually. The form is below or click the link www.clsa.co.uk/index.php?q=idcard
b. The London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association (LCCSA) are renewed annually. The cost of the card is included in the annual membership subscription or for non-members, an annual fee of £36 is charged. The form is below or click the link www.lccsa.org.uk/id-card
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