You are in Politics
rights on arrest
note that UKCIA can accept no responsibility for the accuracy of this information.
If you find yourself in trouble with the police seek the advice of a qualified
legal practitioner as soon as possible. Please inform
us of any mistakes in the following text.|
dealing with the police it is a good idea to be polite and co-operative, they
can cause you hassle much easier then you can them. It also worth noting that
many of them are sympathetic to cannabis users, so not being confrontational could
make all the difference. |
practice you have few enforceable rights against the police: even evidence illegally
obtained by them can but used in Court. However the following information may
Don't get drawn into conversations with the police. Even apparently innocent remarks
can be used against you. Keeping your mouth shut until you have spoken to a solicitor
is often a good idea if you think you are in serious trouble. If the police suspect
you have committed any offence, you can be arrested if you refuse to give your
name and address, or if the police are not satisfied with the address you have
If in doubt do and say nothing until you have contacted a solicitor.
you ask for is refused, ask why and remember the reason given.
As soon as
possible make full notes of what has happened and give them to your solicitor.
These can be used as evidence in court. If you have been injured go and see a
doctor as soon as possible, giving a full explanation of your injuries.
The Street - If You Are Stopped:
Check police identity: ask to see their warrant card and remember any details.
If they are in uniform remember their numbers.
If you are stopped an searched in the street, ask why. The police can stop you
in any public place if they suspect you are in possession of "prohibited
articles". On the street, the police can only search outer clothing such
as coats, gloves etc. If the police suspect that you are in possession of illegal
drugs they can take you to a police station for a more thorough search without
formally arresting you. police should show evidence of identity before searching
you and must keep a record of the search.
You Are Taken To A Police Station:
Don't rely on any legal advice the police offer you.
Ask if you have been arrested and if so why. Ask to see the custody officer as
soon as you arrive at the police station and make sure that the starting time
of your detention is correctly recorded. Remember that the reason for your arrest
and detention is recorded at the top of the police custody record, as is the need
for the police to ask whether you need a solicitor or relative informed. Make
sure you know why you are being held. The nature of the possible charges determines
your entitlements to rights at the police station.
Ask the custody officer to phone your solicitor or the duty solicitor. Insist
that a friend or relative is informed of your arrest. You have the right to have
someone informed without delay unless you are being detained in connection with
a "serious arrestable offence". If you are being held in connection
with a serious arrestable offence, police can delay access to solicitors and relatives
in specific circumstances. If they do refuse access ask why and insist that the
reason is recorded on your custody sheet. Even if the police are confident that
are grounds for refusing access to a solicitor or relatives, they have to allow
access before 36 hours has expired.
Ask to be charged or released. Unless you are suspected of a serious offence,
you must be charged or released within 24 hours of detention and you have the
right to consult a solicitor at any time. Make sure that you request to see a
solicitor and the time of the request is recorded by the custody officer. Whatever
the police say you should NEVER sign the custody sheet saying that you don't want
to see a solicitor.
In order to get bail (released from the police station before going to court)
you will probably have to satisfy the police that you have a fixed address.
Your Home Or Workplace Is To Be Searched:
The police do not need a warrant or your permission to enter your home in order
to arrest someone, but in theory they should name the person sought. Searches
can sometimes be conducted without a warrant, but in all cases you should ask
the police to identify themselves and ask the reason of the search. You are entitled
to see a copy of the search warrant.
For information and help in dealing with the police and the criminal courts in
the UK contact:
020 7729 9904 (24 hour helpline)
388 Old Street
LONDON EC1V 9LT
you need to see them please ring first for an appointment)
this banner to link to UKCIA
designed and maintained by UKCIA