As soon as a police officer has reason to believe that a person being questioned has committed an offence (even if they have not been arrested), the officer must issue a caution (known as Miranda in the US). The wording of the caution, in the UK is:
"You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence."
At the police station, the caution must be repeated, and the person being questioned must be advised of their right to consult a solicitor before answering any questions.

Unlike the old police caution, this new one is ambigious, confusing, and open to misinterpretation. If you are being cautioned, and weighing up the decision to stay quiet to answer everything, you need to be aware of the changes in your right to silence. The court is now allowed to infer a lack of innocence from a refusal to talk. If you refuse or fail to
  • account for objects, substances or marks in or on your clothing or person at the time of your arrest; or
  • explain, after you have been arrested, where you were at the time the offence is alleged to have taken place; or
  • mention something before you were charged, which you later rely on in you defence, or which it would have been reasonable to mention at the time
then the law allows the court "to draw such inferences as appear proper" from this silence. This law was changed with the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

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