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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

07 AUG 2012

The Police and family proceedings

Edwards Solomons
Director of Legal Services, Metropolitan Police Service

A plea from the Metropolitan Police in relation to disclosure for family proceedings. Let us know of any order when it is made, not weeks later when it is perfected and the time for compliance has expired. Tell us precisely what you want and all you know about the case, so we do not waste time and effort tracing and sending what you already have. Allow a reasonable time for us to find what you need. Do not ask officers to attend court unless this is genuinely necessary. Do not ask the Commissioner to attend court.

Recognise the difficulties where criminal investigations are under way or a prosecution is live. Local authority lawyers should check first what their social workers have, not simply ask us for ‘all documents'. A list of how long various searches typically take is provided. If there is a problem, pick up the phone rather than applying for an order.

We are trying to help protect children too but we do not have every document readily to hand in respect of every investigation or call throughout the Metropolitan Police district for an indefinite period.

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