In the U.K. when police arrest someone, they seem to first announce the current time in military/24 hour format, and then they declare the reason or grounds for the arrest. Declaring the grounds for the arrest makes perfect sense. But what is the reason for the obligatory talking clock routine?

  • 4
    public announcements or to a person they arrest?
    – Trish
    Nov 14 at 21:38
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    @Trish who said anything about public announcements? Nov 15 at 0:24
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    @Seekinganswers you used the term "announce". Trish is asking for clarification as to whether you meant a public announcement, or a statement to the person they are arresting.
    – Vicky
    Nov 15 at 9:47
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    For reference, it would be nice to add a quote on what an officer precisely said to the person being arrested.
    – PMF
    Nov 16 at 9:08
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    "Decidedly unspecific" makes this too vague. - there are clear legal differences between "It is 14:01, I arrest you for jaywalking" and the announcement 5 hours later "at 14:01 police forces arrested someone for jaywalking".
    – Trish
    Nov 18 at 18:50

1 Answer 1


There are clear rules about the length of time a suspect can be held.
The UK government says in Being arrested: your rights

How long you can be held in custody

The police can hold you for up to 24 hours before they have to charge you with a crime or release you.

They can apply to hold you for up to 36 or 96 hours if you’re suspected of a serious crime, such as murder.

You can be held without charge for up to 14 days If you’re arrested under the Terrorism Act.

So it is vital information for interested parties, such as family and legal representatives.

  • One of your better answers, I’ll have to say. And it makes good sense, but could nonetheless in my estimation be improved with references to official sources that directly stipulate the announcement or even connect it with the 24 hour time limit. Perhaps there is something in the PEACE code of practice etc, or even the PACE act itself for that matter. Nov 15 at 0:26

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