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4. If I am detained by the police in the police station and am asked to make a statement, what are my rights? Must I answer every question raised by the police during the interview?

In general, the rights of a person under detention are set out in a document called "Notice to Persons in Custody". This document should be prominently displayed inside any interview room of a police station. The police should also explain to the detained person the basic contents of this document before the interview, and should give a copy to the detained person. The detained person's rights include:


  • Requesting that the detained person's relatives or a friend be informed of the detention;
  • Communicating and consulting with a legal adviser (unless any unreasonable delay or hindrance will likely be caused to the processes of investigation or the administration of justice);
  • Asking to be released on bail;
  • Being provided with drinking water upon request, adequate food and refreshment as well as medical care if necessary.


The questioning of the detained person may be carried out by way of a video-taped interview (“VRI”) (depending on the circumstances so required). It is worth noticing that you are entitled to refuse to participate in a VRI. The police have their prescribed forms that suspects are invited to sign to confirm whether or not they consent to a VRI. If you do not consent to a VRI, the police can still interview you, but with the traditional method of recording the interview in writing. Before taking a statement from the detained person, the police officer must caution that person as set out above (please refer to Question 2 of Part E). You may choose whether or not to answer any question asked by the police, as you have a right to silence. You may also request to obtain legal advice before deciding whether or not to answer any questions. You may also have your lawyer present during the questioning and taking of any statement. If you choose to answer any of the police officer's questions, all the questions and answers will be written down as a "Record of Interview" (often referred to as a "cautioned statement"). Upon conclusion of the interview the police have an obligation to provide you with a copy of this Record of Interview.