Know your Rights – Part 1


Do you know when making an arrest, the police must in accordance with certain procedures? Do you know what your rights are following an arrest?

When making an arrest, the police have a legal obligation to use reasonable force to make the arrest and to advise you that you are under arrest as soon as is reasonable. After the arrest, the police should explain to you why you are being arrested. They must also read the police Caution to you – which advises you of your right to remain silent and should transport you to a police station as soon as possible if making the arrest at anywhere other than a police station.

The custody officer at the police station must explain your rights. You have the right to:

Obtain legal advice (access to legal advice can sometimes be delayed depending on the nature of offence).
Tell someone where you are (you can be held in incommunicado until authorised searches are made in some cases).
Receive medical attention if you’re feeling ill
See the rules the police must follow – ‘Codes of Practice’
See a written notice telling you about your rights – like regular breaks for food and using the toilet (you can ask for a notice in your language)
See a written notice of your rights while attending a police station
Be advised of your right to obtain a copy of the custody record upon release from detention. This contains information such as whether you chose to receive legal advice and you will be asked to sign it by the police
You will be searched and the police custody officer will keep your belongings while you’re in the cell.

Useful resources

Stop and Search App: Know your rights, upload your experience and keep key information close by. Download the app at

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