Legal aid statistics for July to September 2023 have been released today (December 21).

The statistics show that the number of times a suspect receives legal help from a solicitor in attendance at the police station has increased from 133,982 in April to June to 152,985 in July to September.

“The new figures show a recent surge in police station attendance demonstrating how crucial it is that there are enough duty solicitors to give out this critical early legal advice,” said Law Society of England and Wales president Nick Emmerson.

“This substantial rise in police station work comes at a time when there are increasing police numbers, leading to more arrests. However, there are fewer and fewer duty solicitors to do the work as they continue to leave the profession as it is no longer financially viable.

“Another 71 duty solicitors left the profession between April and October this year.

“Those that remain are already telling us that they are overstretched and this can only get worse if the increased workload continues. We have already heard reports of suspects being released without interview as there is no legal representation available.”