07946 541511

GBC Legal Hotline / Arrestee Support (write the number on your arm)

Essential legal info on your rights if arrested

The unexpected can happen - buddy up and write these on phone numbers your arm:
The GBC arrestee support number 07946 541511
and a number for one of our recommended solicitors.

If you see someone arrested and taken into custody, find out their name from people nearby if you can, and contact us. Even if you don't know their name a physical decsription will do, you could be a valuable witness for their defence!


You have the right to have a person told of your arrest – this could be a friend or family member, but if you have told them in advance, we recommend using GBC Arrestee Support. Tell the custody officer you authorise them to speak to GBC about your situation and welfare. Then your friends and family can ask GBC for updates.

You have a right to free legal advice (check out our list of recommend solicitors. Do not use the duty solicitor.
When you get out contact let us know!

REMAIN SILENT Until you speak to a good solicitor (see link above) answer ‘no comment’ to ALL questions before and after arrest and during interviews. From the moment you are stopped, everything you say is evidence - there is no such thing as a friendly chat. It is easier to say nothing at all than selectively answering questions. Say nothing and sign no statements without legal advice.

• You have a right to be told why you are under arrest.
• Your photo, prints and DNA can be taken, you will be searched and your possessions taken.
• Give your name and address (and maybe your DOB but nothing else) to the custody officer AT the police station.
• You have a right to see a doctor if sick or hurt.
• Do exercise your right to read the PACE code about how you should be treated in custody.
• If you are under 17 you will have to have an appropriate adult if you are interviewed (parent/legal guardian or another responsible adult, don’t agree to a social worker, GBClegal may be able to help.)

You do NOT have to give your name or address under ANY search power or if stopped
The police only have the power to arrest you for not giving your name and address when asked, if:
- you are a driver of a vehicle on the road (and date of birth) or if involved in accident or road traffic offense whether in a car, on a bike or as a pedestrian
- you are suspected of anti-social behavior (reasonable grounds to suspect have caused, or are likely to, cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more persons – can include police but higher threshold) under s50 of Police Reform Act 2002. May be trying it on, so can say will give it when get to custody desk.
- the police wish to summons you for an offence or issue a fixed penalty notice (arrest under s25 PACE)

On being stopped & searched:
• You do not have to explain why you are there.
• You do not have to co-operate with attempts to photo or record you.
• The police can only give you a pat down, remove outer clothes, search your bags, and have you empty pockets, unless they take you to a private space.
• You are not required to be actively compliant. You can 'go limp' as passive resistance if you wish. The police can use reasonable force to search.

Before being searched you should be told:
1) officer’s name and/or police station
2) that entitled to copy of the search form (police can decline to give on the spot if not practicable to do so) – ask for and keep the search record
3) legal power being used and what they are looking for
4) grounds to suspect you (not for blanket search powers)

For these powers the police need reasonable grounds to suspect YOU:
• s1 PACE, to search for articles for use for burglary/theft, stolen goods, offensive weapons, bladed articles, items that may be used for criminal damage. Nature of search should relate to what they are looking for and why they suspect you. So always check what they are searching for and why and challenge them (eg. read from your phone when they said they were looking for offensive weapons).

For these powers, police don’t need to suspect you – these are blanket search powers:

• s60 Criminal Justice Act, to search for offensive weapons and dangerous instruments. (Masks - If s60aa order is in place police can require you to remove any item reasonably believe used wholly or mainly for purpose of concealing identify or to seize any item reasonably believe you intend to wear wholly or mainly for that purpose. You can be arrested if you refuse.)

Inappropriate police behavior?
When the police act they should be carrying out a lawful duty, so ask them what they are doing and why. Record all the details of what happened.
Find other witnesses, especially people videoing, call or email gbclegal@riseup.net, especially if you saw an incident that led to an arrest, or injury (take a good photo). Complain & tell everyone you know!