Awareness is one of the best deterrents when it comes to the police and avoiding the abuse of your civil rights. Making it known to the police that you are aware of your rights should make them more cautious when it comes to your rights.
The Police and your Rights
The police do have the right to exercise certain powers when it comes to dealing with suspects but these powers must be exercised responsibly. On the whole the police will act responsibly but there have been many cases of the police abusing the rights of suspects. The police are not above the law and there can be legal consequences if citizen’s rights are abused. The police can be sued, disciplined or even prosecuted if they infringe or abuse the rights of members of the public.
When confronted with the police many people will unknowingly waive a number of their civil rights. This is usually due to the fact that a great number of people are simply not aware of their basic civil rights. It may also be the case that when confronted with the police many people will simply do as the police ask. For some people the police are often imposing and even intimidating figures of power. The police represent the government but the government also acts for its citizens, and there is legal protection in place when it comes to citizen’s rights.
Know your Rights
It will be beneficial to be aware of your rights when it comes to dealing with the police, regardless of the situation. The police are less likely to break any of your civil rights if you make them aware that you do actually know what your rights are. For instance you can refuse to answer any police questions until you have taken legal advice. A number of people will simply waive this right as soon as they are questioned. If a member of the public has not been cautioned by the police then they are under no obligation to answer any police questions.
Co-operating with the Police
It will always be the best policy to co-operate with the police when they initially question you. If they ask for personal details such as your name and address then these should be given. If the police have stopped you with the intention of proceeding with a search then you do have the right to know the reason for the search. The police cannot search a member of the public without reasonable suspicion. If the police cannot give a valid reason then they should not continue with any search. Reasonable suspicion is not necessary if the suspect is in a designated stop and search area.
Codes of Practice
The powers and rights of the police are laid out in various codes of practice. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) and the codes of practice contain all of the rights and powers of the police. The Pace act covers the rights of the police and the suspect when it comes to issues such as stop and search, and arresting, interviewing and detaining suspects. Any breach of these codes or the suspect’s rights can mean legal consequences for the police.
Enforcing your Rights
If your feel your civil rights have been infringed or abused by the police in any way there are a number of options open to you. Complaints against the police can be made to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). You can also make a complaint directly through your local police station. If your grievance is serious enough you can sue the police but this option should not be considered without taking expert legal advice.
Human and civil rights are in place to guarantee protection from abuse and any breach or infringement of these rights is a very serious matter. The police are not above the law and they can face the same legal consequences as any other member of the public if they do abuse the civil rights of any citizen. Read further for more information about what happens if you are detained by the police.
Under English common law rights. I have been told that I'm should give my details to the police. Just looking at the moment not British rights or UK rights. as I have seen on the internet that I don't have to give my name and address to the police. And then I see under the English bill of civil rights dating back to 1680. I must give my name and address in England to the police and even the Queen took a oath that the EnglishBill of Rights still stands.
Johnny - 17-Nov-20 @ 11:34 AM
Call 999 due to an altercation with ex husband and in-law , they came out starting commenting on the house my son and grandkids were there ,they since left and come to my son's house gone in and starting asking children what food they eat and then gone straight to the fridge and demanded the children arnt fed as not healthy food in there look in cupboards ,now call social services , this is not on what's my right as this is nothing to do with the callout and a different address, it's not right ,
Liz - 3-Oct-20 @ 7:09 PM
A man who has been trying to get into a relationship with me was arrested. He was being very disruptive in the police station demanding my details saying I was his wife. The police gave him my full address and phone number and he proceeded to inundate me with calls and letters. This is disturbing to me and I am really upset that an extremely violent man was given my personal details by police, I am in fear now every time I leave the house. What can I do ?
GD - 19-Sep-19 @ 11:26 AM
If want close my statment down what happened next
Lucy - 19-May-19 @ 4:52 PM
I was parked illegally with my hazards on, i was in the shop 30 secs 40sec max.
I was letting cars by b4 getting into my car safely when an officer stopped his viechle next to me & wound down the front passanger window,
I felt a tad humiliated that he had a civilian sitting in the car whilst giving me the 3rd degree from the driver's side & over the lady. Is this allowed & propper practice regardless of me being in the wrong or not?
Yazz - 10-May-19 @ 12:19 PM
I was parallel parking and I apparently jolted an off duty officer cars whilst parking. I strongly disagree that I even touched his car however he flashed his police badge and demanded I exit my vehicle to "have a chat" after I initially refused to get out and talk with him. for the sake of ease I talked with him and we came to the conclusion there was no damage, I told him I strongly believed I didn't hit his vehicle and told him its his own opinion that I hit his car. he then left but the pig wasted my time and tried to flash his badge and an attempt to get me to even talk with him about the CIVIL matter.
I was wondering under what authority can an off-duty officer request me to exit my vehicle over a civil dispute?
rda - 7-May-19 @ 3:33 PM
This is more of a hopeful quiery than anything else. Recently I arrived home to be told by my neighbour that a plain clother police man had been looking for me by name. He then proceeded to give him my mobile number. That day I contacted the local police helpline but they couldnt help me. Today I received an unknown number call (as usual I never answer them) there was no voice mail. Not long after my neighbour contacts me to inform me he had received an unknown number call it was this police man again saying he had been unsuccessful in contacting me. Now I find this odd. So I ring my local police station and they run a check on my name and address, they also put out a radio call to request if any on duty officer was looking for me. He said none he was aware of. I find it really strange they would not leave a message or leave a card with information on how to contact them. I find it even more odd he would search my neighbours files to find his number to call him today again without attempting to call at my house after already knowing I am not back from work until after 6pm and this so called event took place at 3pm so he says today? From what my neighbour says he stated I was not in trouble and it was nothing to be concerned about but frankly its stressing me out. How do I know if I'm being played a prank on or if this is actually real? Surely if it was official police business they wouldn't be this sketchy? What can I do? Its really freaked me out :(
Rich77 - 3-Apr-19 @ 6:43 PM
I received a phone call from police station saying that there are allegations against me for harrassment and criminal damage! It’s my ex telling lies about me and i suffer from anxiety and depression - they want me to come to the police station to be interviewed and are providing a solicitor but i’m very scared
Sez - 19-Mar-19 @ 9:13 PM
We have right of access to our parking area in our deeds. 13 years ago, a restaurateur opened a bistro and asked if he could put 2 bins outside his rear door (fire exit only) as he has no legal space there. I agreed. Over the years this has grew to 4 large and 3 normal sized bins plus bags, crates and baskets at times. On occasion, broken glass is found on our driveway and I’ve spoken to his staff but never the chance to him directly. Last week however, large stainless steel tables etc were placed on a small plot of land that I maintain (not mine) to reverse out onto so as I can drive forward out onto the main road. Not being able to get anybody from the bistro I parked my wife’s mobility car in front of bins knowing that he would have to contact me to move them. The police came on their behalf to ask me to move my car. They now are saying they have the legal right to have bins there because of recycling. Not wanting to escalate things I moved car. This is private land in Scottish town and would like to know if the police can enforce me moving car and if they can force their bins on my space? Thank you.
Al - 29-Jan-19 @ 1:47 PM
I have had an uncle ring the police yesterday as I stopped at my nans house on the way to my mom's. She was on the phone to him as I arrived and she just said to him that I was there, it was only a flying visit so as I was walking when I left nans I saw this police car go past me a few times as I continued to walk I saw this pc parked up in a side street he got out and asked for a word with me, I replied that I was in a rush and he said I may be under arrest so I had to speak with him. He asked if I had been to my nans I said yes then if I'd had money off her no I replied,then if I had my nan's bank cards?Why would you ask that of course I haven't, then he asked why I'd stopped at ATM who's cards did I have? My own I said he asked if I'd said anything about suicide to my nan? What a weird question I thought then after when I spoke to my nan she said the female pc had told my nan I was on drugs surely this is an infringement of my rights
Luc - 5-Oct-18 @ 12:05 PM
I live in south wales, UK
Basically i have had nuissance complaints from my neighbours for any little noise
This friday when they came, things got slightly out of hand, due to the feeling of harrassment and irritation of them constantly coming for absouloutely nothing
I opened the door and they just walked in, I pushed the officer as i wanted him out of my property, he then continued to square up to me and say for me not to push him, they had no warrant and was there for a noise disturbance, i was pretty intoxicated and fed up of them showing up, it was litterarly making me feel distressed and decided to give him a tuning, which all took place in my property, how should i go about all of this? Am i aloud to beat up a police officer if he is to just walk into my property without permission? as it's really taking the piss, I am in court of the 25thof this month for the offence, and am just trying to fight the case every way i can, back up was called, and i was beat the hell out of by about seven police officers, i left the station covered in cuts and bruises
Is there any law which would letme get away with this in terms of him entering the property without a warrant?
Mikey - 9-Sep-18 @ 11:36 PM
Hello I am just wondering can 1 police Officer arrest you on his own for a crime someone says you have committed? Even though I didn’t
Ttt - 20-Aug-18 @ 9:14 PM
Hello, I have had a police officer come straight up behind my car while my car is parked safely in a car space and he has immediately opened my car door to say something to me, is an officer allowed to do this without previously showing any indication he wanted to talk to me?
Km - 24-Jul-18 @ 10:51 AM
Hi, I just wanted advice about police continually knocking on the door after midnight, every night now for 4 consecutive nights and it is likely to continue. My brother's girlfriend is in care and has a curfew for 11 o'clock. Since we have been made awareof this the young lady has not and will not be staying at our residence after this time. We have informed the police of this, however, when the girl is not in her care environment after this time the police continue to come to our house at 1 or 2 in the morning. This has been quite distressing as everyone in the house gets up very early for work and when all the pets are disturbed it's hard to get the house calm again. Do we have any rights in relation to getting this stopped? I'd really appreciate any advice.
CM - 5-Jul-18 @ 1:28 PM
Manpoole - Your Question:
I'm sitting in a Pub garden with my elderly disabled neighbour, who I take shopping at least once a week, having dinner. A Police officer tried to enter the premises stating to his collegue 'I want a word with him'. His collegue replied 'Leave him he is with someone'. and they walked away. Can a Police officer enter such premises, or, stop you in the street just to 'have a word'?I am registered disabled and have Tourettes Syndrome. As a result I become distressed easily. I'm afraid this officer is intent on causing distress resulting in him creating a situation which then gives him lawful cause. If I am doing nothing wrong surely stopping me in the street to 'Have a word' is illegal?
A police officer can stop and question you at any time. They can ask fo details such asyour name, what you're doing and where you're going. You do not have to answer any questions if you don't want to.
CivilRightsMovement - 6-Jun-18 @ 11:28 AM
I'm sitting in a Pub garden with my elderly disabled neighbour, who I take shopping at least once a week, having dinner. A Police officer tried to enter the premises stating to his collegue 'I want a word with him'. His collegue replied 'Leave him he is with someone'. and they walked away. Can a Police officer enter such premises, or, stop you in the street just to 'have a word'?
I am registered disabled and have Tourettes Syndrome. As a result I become distressed easily. I'm afraid this officer is intent on causing distress resulting in him creating a situation which then gives him lawful cause. If I am doing nothing wrong surely stopping me in the street to 'Have a word' is illegal?
Manpoole - 5-Jun-18 @ 10:04 AM
Marie - Your Question:
Tonight my 19 yo bro got arrested for getting abit too involved with an arrest that was already happening. 6 police men jumped on him, one of them kneed him, and another hit him in the face resulted in his mouth bleeding.when I said didnt take so many of them to arrest him and was out of order the force they used cause he has rights, one police officer said what rights, I said well the right for your to not to do that to start with his reply was can hit him in the face if we want to nothing you can do. I just want to kno what is classed as excessive force? Six men on one boy is extreme to me. Just want to know his rights? People on the street believed his arrest was out of order too. Wouldnt give us badge numbers. Just what are our rights? How do we complain?
Both my son's have been stabbed 3 times by a local gang and are now being harassed by police. Police have issued an Osman warning to my older son but keep coming to my property to find him even though I have taken him off my tenancy and formally complained he does not live with me and to ask them to stop knock my door. They have no evidence that my son is a criminal and he does not have a criminal record yet police will make remarks like because of your criminal activity that's why the gang are after you. Even though we have explained it is for another reason of informing on them! Police have searched my house without a warrant and good reason at 3am waking my small children and been coming to my property every month for around 6 months now. I'm fed up and have basically have them put my son's life in danger demanding him to come to my house at midnight to sign an Osman warning. Yet they claim they come to my house and his step dad's house to check he is ok, last time they came my son was stabbed for a second time. They have been asked for over 6 months for a risk assessment by my housing but are refraining from doing one even though the last stabbing took place outside my house and I have small children!! I'm at my wit's end with worry and don't know what I can do!!!
Cece - 8-Apr-18 @ 9:20 PM
Tonight my 19 yo bro got arrested for getting abit too involved with an arrest that was already happening. 6 police men jumped on him, one of them kneed him, and another hit him in the face resulted in his mouth bleeding..when i said didnt take so many of them to arrest him and was out of order the force they used cause he has rights, one police officer said what rights, i said well the right for your to not to do that to start with his reply was can hit him in the face if we want to nothing you can do. I just want to kno what is classed as excessive force? Six men on one boy is extreme to me. Just want to know his rights? People on the street believed his arrest was out of order too. Wouldnt give us badge numbers. Just what are our rights? How do we complain?
Marie - 8-Apr-18 @ 1:22 AM
On Saturday and again on Monday, I had two arguments with a dog owner who refused to control his dog despite the dog barking at my frightened child for ten minutes. He threatened that I would get 'hassle'.
On Monday night, at about 3am the police knocked loudly on my door. I did not answer as I am a single parent of a 10 yr old child, and I did not want my child to be afraid.
Also two years ago, I had a similar experiencewhen the police 'claimed' to have the wrong address.Then I lived in a quiet semi-rural area. Now I live in a rural, well-to-do, crime-free area.
When I called in South Yorkshire Police yesterday morning, they were unable to provide any information, and were rude as well.
Do I have the right to demand to know why I was so rudely awakened? Must the police provide me with this information?
tommy - 21-Mar-18 @ 12:24 PM
James - Your Question:
This article is unhelpful and misleading. It states "If they [police] ask for personal details such as your name and address then these should be given". You are NOT required by law to give your name or any personal details to the police if you haven't committed an offence and aren't stopped driving a vehicle. It's worrying that this website is spreading incorrect information.
We haven't said it's compulsory...but we do advocate cooperation with the police at all times.
CivilRightsMovement - 19-Mar-18 @ 2:03 PM
This article is unhelpful and misleading. It states "If they [police] ask for personal details such as your name and address then these should be given".
You are NOT required by law to give your name or any personal details to the police if you haven't committed an offence and aren't stopped driving a vehicle.
It's worrying that this website is spreading incorrect information.
James - 16-Mar-18 @ 3:34 PM
When your released on bail the police have 28 days to file charges unless they get a 3 month extension. But what if the police break the 28 day deadline without a judge granting the extension. Have they violated my rights by breaking procedure
Confusedcitizen - 28-Feb-18 @ 7:04 PM
A policeman who assaulted me was found guilty in magistrates court.He appealed and his sentence was quashed in crown court
The police force then used the current guidelines and he only got a report on his recordinstead of a disciplinary hearing and dismissal
Seems they are able to protect thier own and I have no further right to appeal
Lies in court transcript I have copies of are shocking
Do I have anymore civil rights?
Kazzym - 21-Feb-18 @ 11:12 PM
Amanda - Your Question:
HiOk I'm in messy situation. When my daughter went off to uni I couldn't afford to get her the things she needed in one go so I stupidly opened catalogues in her name without her knowledge. I intended to order the things she needed, pay them off and close the account. I paid regularly but my husband had a stroke and I fell behind. She's now got 2 ccj's on her credit file because of me and I feel awful. By trying to help her I just made a big mess. I've satisfied both of the debts and I've written to the court who issued the ccj's to explain it was my debt not hers. I've told her to report it to the police because it's the o my way to clear her file but she's reluctant because she doesn't want to see me get into trouble with the police. What I did was wrong despite the reasons behind it. What will happen next if she goes ahead to report it? Will I be arrested for it? We're both in a mess over it all
What was the court response when you told them it was your debt? We suggest you go to local Citizens' Advice or a contact a debt charity like Step Change before making your decision.
CivilRightsMovement - 31-Jan-18 @ 10:38 AM
Ok I'm in messy situation. When my daughter went off to uni I couldn't afford to get her the things she needed in one go so I stupidly opened catalogues in her name without her knowledge. I intended to order the things she needed, pay them off and close the account. I paid regularly but my husband had a stroke and I fell behind. She's now got 2 ccj's on her credit file because of me and I feel awful. By trying to help her I just made a big mess. I've satisfied both of the debts and I've written to the court who issued the ccj's to explain it was my debt not hers. I've told her to report it to the police because it's the o my way to clear her file but she's reluctant because she doesn't want to see me get into trouble with the police. What I did was wrong despite the reasons behind it. What will happen next if she goes ahead to report it? Will I be arrested for it? We're both in a mess over it all
Amanda - 29-Jan-18 @ 8:05 PM
Hi my daughter has to go for an interview at the police station but there both evening appointments one was 8.30 pm and the other was 10.30 pm I thought they said 10.30 this morning so went to the police station with my daughter to find out its 10.30 pm so I told them at the police station I couldn't do evenings I'm disabled with no transport the office I spoke to on the phone said if I didn't take my daughter to this interview there would be a warrant out for her arrest I'm worried even though the lady I spoke to today at the police station said she would email them and let me k ow with a phonecall later tonight as the officer isn't at work till 10.30 tonight
Chez - 15-Jan-18 @ 6:43 PM
Knucklehead - Your Question:
Can the police execute a search warrant and seize goods if there is only a 15 year old girl in the property. She wasn’t given the opportunity to get an appropriate adult or anything. And would any evidence be accepted in court?
We don't really know for sure. This is from Citizens' Advice:
"...police must have a search warrant before they can enter the premises. They should enter property at a reasonable hour unless this would frustrate their search. When the occupier is present, the police must ask for permission to search the property – again, unless it would frustrate the search to do this.
When they are carrying out a search police officers must:
identify themselves and - if they are not in uniform - show their warrant card, and
explain why they want to search, the rights of the occupier and whether the search is made with a search warrant or not.
If the police have a warrant, they can force entry if:
the occupier has refused entry, or
it is impossible to communicate with the occupier, or
the occupier is absent, or
the premises are unoccupied, or
they have reasonable grounds for believing that if they do not force entry it would hinder thesearch, or someone would be placed in danger.
When police can seize property
Police should only seize goods if they have reasonable grounds for believing that:
they have been obtained illegally; or
they are evidence in relation to an offence.
In either of these cases, they must also have reasonable grounds for believing that it is necessary to seize the goods to prevent them being lost, stolen or destroyed."
CivilRightsMovement - 20-Dec-17 @ 1:49 PM
Can the police execute a search warrant and seize goods if there is only a 15 year old girl in the property. She wasn’t given the opportunity to get an appropriate adult or anything. And would any evidence be accepted in court?
Knucklehead - 19-Dec-17 @ 8:33 PM
You don't see anything wrong with a police officer male on his own starring in my windows im a single parent female with a clean police record I am being harassed for no reason there are drug dealers in my area and they drive straight passed their houses yes I will go speak to a senior officer