There are always reports circulating about people having negative experiences with the police, many people don’t know their rights and this can land them to unexpectedly get in trouble or be incriminated. Here are some tips on dealing with the police and what rights you have.
One of the most important things to take away from this is to be calm. If you get pulled over or stopped by the police and display any negative emotions, such as anger or frustration, then this will more often than not lead to more trouble.
Right to Remain Silent
Police are trained to get information out of people, some people end up incriminating themselves by accident through sneaky questions. You do not need to answer any of them and you are allowed the right to remain silent. Staying quiet will not incriminate you and cannot be held against you in any way.
Refusing a Search
You can refuse to get searched by police and again this cannot be held against you. You watch out though as police will often not be deterred by this and may threaten to call drug enforcement or take you to the station and may say that it is easier to just cooperate. This is a tactic used to shake people’s confidence and get them to allow the search to take place.
Even if you understand your rights, the police may try and trick you. It is the polices right to trick or lie to you to try and get information.
Determine Your Detention
During a stop and search with the police, you are within your right at any time to ask if you are free to go. The police can’t hold you if they don’t have enough evidence to take you into custody.
Do Not Run Away
Whether you are guilty or not, running away is never a good idea. Chances are they will find you and when they do, the repercussions will be a lot worse than that of the original crime (if any).
Never Touch a Police Officer
Never touch a police officer, whether this be a touch on their shoulder, physical assault or anything in between. Touching a police officer could result in an aggressive response towards you and could lead to your arrest.
Report Acts of Misconduct
If you have experienced an act of police misconduct, then be sure to report it. Many police forces encourage the public to report any misconduct to help them improve their staff.
Your Home is Protected by UK Law
If you are in your own home and the police come to the door, you have no obligation to let them in, unless they have a warrant or probable cause – which is pretty much strong evidence that a crime is being committed or has been committed. If they do not have any of these, then they will need your permission to enter. You do not need to allow them entry to your home without a warrant and if you do this may affect your legal protection and their culpability.