Disability rights

4. Police

If you’re being questioned or interviewed at a police station you have certain rights depending on your impairment.

Deaf, hearing-impaired or speech difficulties

The police should arrange for an interpreter to be present with you. The police can interview you without an interpreter if a delay would result in harm to people, property or evidence.

Learning disabilities

The police should only interview someone who has a learning disability when a responsible person (referred to as an ‘appropriate adult’) is present. The appropriate adult should not work for the police and should have experience of people with learning disabilities. The police can interview you without an appropriate adult if a delay would result in harm to people, property or evidence.

Right to medical treatment

If you’re being kept in a police cell, you have the right to a medical examination by a healthcare worker. A healthcare worker may be a paramedic, nurse or a police surgeon (sometimes referred to as a ‘Forensic Medical Examiner’).

If you do not want to be examined by the healthcare worker provided, you could be examined by a general practitioner (GP) that you choose - if they’re available. You may have to pay for this, and this payment will be noted down.