When did we stop ‘helping police with their inquiries’?

Roy Greenslade in The Guardian reports that a former senior Met police press officer thought it dated back to the introduction of the police and criminal evidence act (PACE) in 1984. In a 17-paragraph exposition of the rules, it formalised how arrests were to be carried out.

Police can informally interview people who are not suspects. If they have suspicions about someone having committed a criminal act, they can interview the person “under caution.” If those suspicions are greater – what are called in the legislation “reasonable grounds” – then an arrest is likely.