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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71159
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Two police officers came to my house 6 days ago saying that

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Two police officers came to my house 6 days ago saying that they had been asked by police in another borough to verify that this is my address. They said they did not know which borough the request came from only the code. They also said they did not know why they needed to verify my address or what the matter was about, they were just following orders.

Yesterday the same two police officer arrived with a third officer and said they were arresting me in connection with the abduction of a kitten (yes a kitten) in the borough which had requested the verification of my address. They said they needed to search the house for the kitten and did so. They took me to the police station,(I realised after that they did not read me my rights). They called the number I gave them for my solicitor then after some deliberation told me that I was now de-arrested or unarrested, but that if I tried to leave they would arrest me again and I should wait for my solicitor to arrive. They did not in the event charge me with anything but said that next week, in the borough that had requested the verification of my address, there would be an identification line up and that I should attend. They also said that if I did not the police from that borough might arrest me and force me to attend. They told me that the connection between me and this case of the abducted kitten is two telephone numbers they have which are registered to my address. They would not tell me what the telephone numbers are. They did say they are not my long term Tmobile number.
They say that the person who took the kitten apparently agreeing to pay later called from one of the numbers to say that they were not going to pay for the kitten as it had fleas. Apparently the victims of this heinous crime described the kitten thief as driving a red car and wearing timberlands. They searched my house for timberland boots and did not find any, as I do not have any. I also do not have a red car. I do not in fact have any car and have not had one for several years. They asked me if I like cats and I explained that I have no yearning whatsoever for cats/kittens dogs or any other animal. I am a 36 year old man. I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX you find this tale as preposterous as I do but please believe me preposterous or not it is entirely true. Please can you advise me as to whether they had the right to do what they did or whether any of my rights have been violated. Please could you also advise me as to what steps I could take to protect myself from victim to further action on the part of the police in this bizarre accusation of which I am entirely innocentl.
Thank you.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

1. Did they have the right to search my house?

2. Do I have the right to know what the two telephone numbers they say they have registered to my address and name are?

3. What does de-arrested mean is it a formal term and when is it used?

4. After being de-arrested they put me on a caution 3 - what is a caution three and will it show up on a CRB check?

5. Is it legal/moral for them to de-arrest me, tell me I am free to go and then say, 'but if you go we may re-arrest you?

6. Is it normal/usual for there to be an identification line-up for the theft of a kitten?

7. Am I legally obliged to attend this line-up in a borough way across the other side of town. If I do not, can they arrest me and force me to attend?

8. What steps can I take to protect myself from falling victim to further action in this matter by the police.

9. It all feels very bizarre and surreal to me is this really how the law works in these matters.


On your specific points

1 yes, there was an allegation that they were investigating.

2 No. If they charge you then they will have to disclose that information if it assists your defence or undermines their case or indeed they rely upon it to prosecute you but not otherwise.

3 It just means releases a person from arrest without a formal disposal at the station.

4 The fact of the allegation will only show on enhanced checking but not on any other form and even then only under any other information.

5 Yes, there is nothing unlawful in that.

6 Yes. A kitten is property like any other and a theft is a theft, Often they won't become involved in the theft of domestic pets but obivously some cats and dogs have very high value. Also, there was a scam a few years ago whereby certain people would abduct dogs and then blackmail their owners. The police were heavily criticised for refusing to assist.

7 No, but if you don't then they will just do a covert identification of you using some less advantageous means than a line up or a viper parade.

8 There's no way of doing that. I think probably the issue here is not the theft of the kitten per se but that the owner has been receiving blackmailing calls since. That woudl be taken seriously.

9 Im sorry if I'm missing the point but I'm not sure why you are suprised they are investigating this? Obivously it may well be nothing to do with you and then it will come to nothing but the offence itself is clearly worthy of their time.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

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