9. Collecting Information for Ongoing Support
Once the arrestee has taken a moment to enjoy their freedom, and perhaps over a cup of tea, it’s important to ask them for some information.
Use the Police Station Release Form to record information. Contact details are most important, so that ACAB and/or the Legal Support Team of the group organising the protest can follow up to offer further support, and make sure arrestees have good legal support if needed. ACAB not only assist defendants with their defence, but also offer advice on how to sue the police.
Arrestees should have a release form given to them by the police – this will have details on it to help answer questions about the conditions of their release.
If someone is (understandably) wary about giving you their details, ask them to seriously consider getting in touch later on the Protest Support Helpline (07946 541 511) and to check out this website.
Encourage people to write up a statement as to what happened at the time of their arrest, while it is still fresh in their mind, and to keep it safe.
Check they have a solicitor – ask who it is and encourage them to contact one from the Netpol Lawyers List if they don’t have one or if they took the duty solicitor.
If they don’t want ongoing support, ask whether they are happy to give information about their arrest even if not giving their contact details or future court/bail dates – this will help us to understand police/CPS tactics and know who has been arrested and released.
It is also useful to make a brief note of their appearance: in many cases an arrest is called in with a description of the person but not their name. Your description might help to tie together the reported arrest with the arrestee themselves.
In some cases you might like to install the arrestee into a corner of a nearby warm cafe while you wait for others to be released or while you arrange for them to get a lift home.