Legal Aid

Telephone referrals for police station work

PUBLISHED February 11, 2014

How you can set up a more efficient DSCC case referral process

Providers carrying out police station work have the option of establishing their own 24-hour telephone referral system known as ?Firm Deployment? with the Defence Solicitor Call Centre (DSCC).

What is 'Firm Deployment'

This allows members of staff who are not solicitors or accredited representatives to accept and take details of police station advice calls from the DSCC.

They can then refer callers internally to an available representative for further action, in accordance with paragraphs 9.26 and 9.27 in Part B of the 2010 Standard Crime Contract Specification.

Written consent needed

Providers can only introduce such an arrangement with the written consent of their contract manager at the LAA.

Before giving consent the contract manager will need to be satisfied that a firm complies with paragraph 9.52 in Part B of the specification.
The above arrangement is successfully used by more than 140 firms who use a single DSCC contact number for all advisers within the firm.


As well as providing a more efficient and effective way of receiving DSCC referrals this arrangement:

Removes communication problems
The system solves the problem of unsuccessfully trying to contact named individuals to accept cases e.g. mobile signal problems or unavailability because people are in court or at a police station.
Overcomes no ?on-call? rota system issues
When there is no ?on-call? rota several solicitors within a firm may be disturbed with night calls looking for acceptance. This system means that contact is always made through the correct system or to a person expecting the calls.
Increases back-up case acceptance rates
This increases the success rate where DSCC tries one contact number for each solicitor before moving on to the next one within a short period if no contact is established. 

Further information

Justice website: Police stations