This is a quick briefing of some of your rights while on the street. For a longer briefing with more detail go here.
If Arrested or detained you have the following rights:
You have the right to be told why you’re under arrest.
You must give your name, address, date and place of birth and nationality. These will be checked out before you are released. You DON’T have to say anything else. We recommend that you say ‘no comment’ in response to any other questions asked.
You will be searched & your possessions taken away.
You have the right to have a friend or relative contacted.
If you are under 16 the police WILL contact your parents or guardian.
You have the right to see a doctor if you are sick or hurt.
The police CAN photograph and fingerprint you and take a DNA sample without your consent.
You have the right to have a solicitor informed of your arrest.
You have the right to culturally or medically appropriate food, including vegan and vegetarian.
You also have the right to a translator if English is not your first language.
If you are a witness or a suspect to a crime a police officer can take your name, address, date and place of birth and nationality. You do not have to give any other information, and we recommend you don’t. They must tell you the nature of the offence and whether you are a suspect or witness.
The police have no right to stop and search you, except in these exceptions:
If you are suspected of committing certain crimes, such as possession of drugs. They must have good reason to suspect you.
The police can put in place Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act over a specific place for a specific period of time in anticipation of violence. Then, officers can search anyone, without reason, in that area during that time, but only for weapons. They are not allowed to read any documents, including ID, and you are under no obligation to answer any questions. We advise you to not tell them anything.
Another part of Section 60 is that the police can ask you to remove, and can confiscate, any item of clothing that they believe is wholly or mainly worn to conceal identity (ie. Masks). Refusing to can be an offence.