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Help! I've been arrested during a protest what should I do?

View profile for Caroline Desalu
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The police should only arrest you if they have a good reason to think you have committed a crime and that arresting you is a necessary action.

In the unfortunate incident that the police is holding you; they should tell you what you are being arrested for and what police station they are taking you to.

What are my  rights if I am arrested during a protest?

  • Can the police use force on me?

The police are only permitted to use reasonable force during an arrest. An arrest is lawful if you have committed an offence or if you are suspected of committing an offence.  

Remember that the police are only permitted to use force that is REASONABLE to arrest you.

Can the police search me ?

The police can do a pat down search of you to check if you are concealing any weapons.

If they wish to do a strip search, they must do it only if they believe that there is a good reason to do so, such as that you are concealing drugs or weapons. A strip search should be authorised by an inspector and should be conducted by an officer of the same gender.

Do I have to give my information to the police?

The police have the power to demand your name and address if they believe that you have acted in an anti-social manner, it is then an offence if you refuse to supply this.

Other than this, you are not obligated to provide any other information to the police before going to court.

It is always best to answer ‘no comment’ until you have had legal advice from a solicitor.

While being transported in the police car/van or station do not talk to the officers or provide too much information until you have spoken with a solicitor.

During interview you have three options- answer questions, provide a prepared statement or no comment. The solicitor will be able to give advice on the best option for you.

When should I get a solicitor?

You should talk to a solicitor before you are:

  • Interviewed
  • Accepting a caution
  • Deciding how to plead to a charge

We would not advise you to accept a caution prior to discussing with your legal representation. This is because if you accept a caution this is an admission of guilt.

At Wainwright & Cummins we are available to help you if you are arrested during a protest. give us a call directly or ask the police to contract us.