Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders Police David Strang from
the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS)
he saw a "difficulty" with not being able to extend the detention period of a suspect beyond 12 hours in a small proportion of cases.
Chief Constable Strang was giving evidence, along side Chief Superintendent Paul Main from Strathclyde Police, Peter Duff, a professor of criminal justice at the University of Aberdeen and Gerard Sinclair the chief executive of
the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission
on the Carloway review, on Tuesday 13 December 2011.
Lord Carloway made
• detention limited to 12 hrs before suspects must be charged, reported to the Crown or released
• suspects being charged should be brought before the court within 36 hours of arrest
• a less rule-bound approach to the evidence gathered with the general requirement for corroboration being dropped
• an arrest should trigger a set of rights including access to a lawyer
Chief Constable Strang said he welcomed Lord Carloway's report and if its recommendations were supported and legislated for there would be significant changes for the police service.
He said he supported Lord Carloway's intention to keep the time people spent in custody to as short a time as possible but added: "We see a difficulty with the small number of cases which have required an extension beyond the 12 hours throughout the last year.
"The most frequent reasons for those extended detentions are for providing suspects with medical or legal safeguards or for the complexity of the inquiry."
He added he supported a call for the police to be able to continue to question suspects for up to 24 hrs in a "small proportion of cases".
Peter Duff, a professor of criminal justice at the University of Aberdeen, told the committee he agreed with Lord Carloway that corroboration "could go" and stressed there were a number of "corroboration fiddles" used to get round the law and there was a lack of clarity in this "very complex area of law".
Professor Duff added getting rid of corroboration for some crimes only would lead to "first class and second class aquittals".