What information am I obliged to give to a policeman?

What if I am asked by the police to stop and account?

A “stop and account” is when a police officer stops you to ask about what you are doing, why you are in a particular area, and/or what you are carrying with you. If you are asked to stop and account, you are entitled to see the police officer’s identification (if he or she is not in uniform) and you are entitled to get a receipt noting details of the stop. You are not required to give the officer your name and address, and the officer does not have the power to detain you.

If you get stopped by the police. Ask them if you may record this on your phone (You have this right to do so but the question is asking for permission to put your hand in your pocket and get the phone out.) Refuse to give them your name. Ask them why they are stopping you they need to have probable cause. Account for your actions then ask them if you may leave. Refuse everything but ask for permission to do things. If the police officer touches you in any way call 999 and report an assault.

What is a “stop and search”?

A stop and search is more serious than a stop and account. An officer can stop you and search you if she has reasonable grounds to suspect that you are carrying weapons, drugs, items that have been stolen or anything that you could use to commit a crime. An officer can also stop you for any reason if you are in an area where, for instance, there is a risk of violence taking place, there is a terrorist threat or where the police have seen people with weapons.

During a stop and search, the officer is required to attempt to carry out the search with your consent, but can continue the search without your co-operation and can use reasonable force if you resist the search. As with a stop and account, you have the right to a receipt and the officer must record the reason for the stop and search.

If the police ask to search you. Just say ” I do not consent to search” make them do it by force record it then sue them.

Is a stop and search an arrest?

No, a stop and search stop is not an arrest. It can, however, result in an arrest.

If I am stopped and searched, do I have to give my name and address?

Although the police will likely ask for your name and address, you are not required to give it unless the police arrest you or are reporting you for an offence.

Is it true that during a stop and search the police cannot ask me to remove a veil, headscarf or any other item that I wear for religious reasons?

No, that is not true. During a stop and search the police can ask you to remove outer clothing, including anything that you wear for religious reasons. They must, however, allow you to remove such items in a place that is out of public view.

When can the police stop me in my car?

The police can stop you at any time when you are driving your car, and they can ask to see you driving licence, insurance details and/or MOT certificate. They can also check your car for roadworthiness.

Can the police stop me because of the way I am dressed or because of my skin colour or race?

No, the police may not stop you only for those reasons.

If the local police know that I have been convicted of a crime in the past, can they stop me just because of that?

No, that alone is not a valid reason for a police stop.

I was walking along the pavement when a car pulled up, and a man got out and ran away. A moment later, a police car pulled up behind the man’s car. A police officer got out and asked me whether I had seen which way the man from the car went. Is that a police stop? Am I entitled to a receipt for it?

No, a casual conversation or a request for that type of information would not normally count as a police stop — unless the police were stopping you because they believed you had some connection with the man they were pursuing.

If I believe I have been mistreated during a police stop, how do I complain?

If you’re unhappy about how you were treated during a police stop, you can visit the Independent Police Complaints Commission website to file a complaint online. You may also want to visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau for advice and contact a solicitor to see whether you’re entitled to compensation. You can find a solicitor in your area for free via solicitor matching services , which can also help you to understand the best course of action for your situation and whether you are even ready to hire a solicitor.




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