Draft bust card

1. To have someone notified. 2. To make a phone call. 3. To FREE legal advice.

(In certain circumstances, these rights can be delayed by a senior officer if the investigation would be affected)

The Police are not allowed to say or do anything that would persuade or cause you not to exercise your rights (e.g. “A Solicitor will take too long”; “You don’t need a solicitor.”)

REMEMBER: Everything you say can be used in evidence against you or others. You don’t have to give any information to the police after arrest, but if you don’t give a verifiable name and address it will delay your release. Just say “No comment” to all other questions.

If you have any injuries, ask for an independent doctor to record and photograph them.

You have the right to free legal advice at the police station. Avoid using the duty solicitor.


The police have wide powers to stop and search a person or a vehicle, provided there are lawful grounds to do so (e.g. reasonable grounds to suspect that you have things that are stolen or prohibited like a knife).

It is not lawful for the Police to stop and search someone because of their colour, race or ethnicity.

You do not have to give your name and address (unless you are the driver of a vehicle) or answer any questions under any stop and search power.

An officer will normally be required to give their name, the Police Station they are from, the purpose of the search and the grounds for reasonable suspicion, and if they are not in uniform must prove that they are a Police Officer.

The officer must normally also make a record of the stop and search and provide you with a copy if you require it. A Police Officer may also stop you to ask you to account for yourself e.g. actions, behavior, presence in the area or possession of anything. When they do so, they may not be using any statutory powers like stop and search, so they do not need to make a record, and therefore the usual requirement to provide you with information may not apply, but you can ask for information as to how you can report your unhappiness at the way you have been treated, and you can still make a complaint.

In conducting a search, you can only be asked to remove your coat, jacket or gloves in public for the purpose of a search but the Officer is allowed to put his/her hand inside your pockets or feel around the inside of collars, socks, shoes, or hair if this is reasonably necessary, but the extent to which they may search will depend on what you are suspected of.

The search must be at or near the place where the person or vehicle was stopped, which means it must be nearby, within a reasonable traveling distance.

If a more intimate search is required, this cannot be done in public.

Also, a senior officer can give the Police in a particular area, for a limited period, the power to stop and search, including the power to require a person to remove any item worn to conceal identity.

You can be arrested if you refuse to be searched and the police can use reasonable force to search you.


Anyone (or someone on their behalf) has the right to complain about their treatment by the Police, face to face or in writing, to the Police or the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), to whom there is a right of appeal if you are unhappy with the outcome.

You normally have 12 months to lodge your complaint. You may also be able to take civil action against the Police. In either case, you should do this as soon as possible as there is normally a time limit of 3 years for starting Court Proceedings.

Learn about the law. Know your rights and police powers if you think you may get arrested. For further information see ldmg.org.uk. activistslegalproject.org.uk