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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71043
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My son was arrested yesterday at 5pm on his way to visit me

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My son was arrested yesterday at 5pm on his way to visit me at work. He has been in trouble on numerous occasions before he was 18.

He's desperate to change his life around but has been unable to do so due to the numerous harassment from Newham Police (Forest Gate and Plaistow Police).

I called Plaistow Police Station this morning to find out where he has been kept and that they are constantly keeping my son's mobile phone that I buy each time they pick him up for questioning. I was told by the Officer, 'then don't buy him phones'. I was shocked at his response and informed him that I would be making a complaint but most importantly is that if he can speak to me (the mother of the person he has in custody) then how are they dealing with my son who is now 19 years old.

I am desperate now for if my son believes that he's innocent then he will try to deal with this by himself and then with all the bad press about the Metropolitan Police and how they deal with black youths, this does not leave a good taste in my mouth.

I want to complain nevertheless, with regards XXXXX XXXXX numerous mobile phones that they have kept with regards XXXXX XXXXX son and that I have bought for him.

Secondly, I want to complain with regards XXXXX XXXXX treatment that I received when calling in with my concern about the whereabouts of my son.

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 3 years ago.

1. My son is 19 years old and obviously I cannot get to him to speak with him about this situation. I would like to find out what they are holding him for - is this possible.


2. To whom do I complain with regards XXXXX XXXXX numerous phones that I have bought for my son and the Police have clearly not ever over the years returned them.


2. To whom do I complain with regards XXXXX XXXXX rudeness of the Police Officer when I inquired about the whereabouts of my son.


On your specific points

1 No, in short. Unless, of course he tells you as he is free to do. He is an adult so they have no obligation to inform you as his parents and, in fact, a duty of confidentiality not to do so.

2 If the police are holding property that you want to recover then you have to make an application to the Magistrates Court pursuant to the Police Property Act. I wouldn't do that particularly urgently though. I would just call the OIC and ask them to return them. Usually they will and that is free to do. Its only if they refuse that a Police Property Act matter is worth pursuing.

3 You can make a complaint at the station. I know they are rude sometimes but not an awful lot is done about that. I think generally the police force doesn't consider rudeness to be a particularly serious matter.

I'm very sorry but that is the reality. Under PACE they only have a duty to the welfare of the suspect not his relatives and if he is an adult then there is no duty at all to tell you anything.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I understand but there's no comfort in knowing that the removal of items such as mobile phones that I've bought for him over the years are constantly removed and never returned to the owner - not sure if that's legal; the police confiscating items and never returning them.


I'm still concerned about my son as from the 1st May to date he's no where to be found and no-one knows where he is. Extremely concerned and no where to go with no one to ask.


Thanks any way for the swift response.

No problem.


All the best.