The Police wish to speak to my child, what can I do as a parent?


Hello, I’m James Yates – a Solicitor Advocate at Martin Cray & Co, and I’m going to take a moment to set out the kind of things that can be done as a parent when your child is accused of an offence.

The first think to know and remember throughout everything that I will be saying today is that as a Solicitor – our duty is to act in the best interest of your son/daughter.

We will look to protect their legal rights and advise them on how to proceed.

This will invariably mean that as parents – an element of trust has to be placed in us and you may find that you end up having less control than you may be used to.

I don’t say this to frighten or worry you – but it is something that is often difficult for parents to begin with.

An example I would use is where a young person has been accused of some kind of sexual offence.

It is often the case that children are uncomfortable discussing intimate details in the presence of their parents.

In such a situation it is sometimes best if parents are not present during those difficult conversations with us.

However, this is not saying that parents are cut out of the process entirely – quite the opposite.

Things that you can do as a parent starts from the very beginning of the process.

If the police wish to speak with your child – or if your child has been taken into custody – then you are able to make contact with legal representatives on their behalf.

When we are contacted by parents whose children have been taken into police custody – we are able to make contact with the custody sergeant and have a telephone conversation with the person in custody to see if they want us to represent them.

While it is ultimately their choice – at least then they have the choice of who represents them.

When it comes to police interviews – there is sometimes a determination that a young person requires an appropriate adult to be present during a police interview.

An appropriate adult’s role is to care for the person being interviewed’s mental wellbeing – so that their solicitor can focus on protecting their legal wellbeing.

Appropriate adults can not answer on the person’s behalf – but can be in the room providing emotional support during an interview.

However, as mentioned above – there are situations whereby the parent or guardian is not an appropriate person to have in the interview, in which case an independent appropriate adult will be appointed.

A parent’s role does not end at the police station.

In the event that a matter is taken before a court – a parent remains a key role in providing the support needed to withstand what is invariably a difficult process.

If the matter is before a Youth Court – parents or guardians are often asked to speak at sentencing hearings to give the Court further information about their child.

Even in the adult courts – parents are often able to give insights into their child that we as lawyers simply don’t have.

In many cases involving young people – the parents play a vital role within the process.

From acting as an appropriate adult in interview proceedings (where appropriate) to provide your child with emotional support during a difficult time in their lives – parents are often essential throughout the criminal law process.


If you are looking for the best solicitors in Brighton and would like to discuss your situation further please get in contact with Martin Cray by calling 01273 673226 or emailing

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