Know Your Rights

Do you know what your rights are if you were to ever be stopped by a police officer?

Thanks to your BAME Campaigns Group, you now have a handy info page below. Take your time to look down the list and see if there's anything that might take you by surprise.


If you are asked to stop by a police officer, you must

  1. Stay calm
  2. Never insult or use force against a police officer
  3. Ask why you've been stopped
  4. (If you are arrested) know what you have been arrested for and seek independent legal advice once at the station.


Did you know?

  • Black British citizens are 8 times more likely to be stopped than a white British citizen.
  • Minority ethnic citizens are 4 times more likely to be stopped than a white British citizen.


So, what are your rights?


Stop and question

A police officer may stop and ask:

  • What is your name?
  • What are you doing in this area?
  • Where are you going?

You don't have to stop or answer any of these questions.

If you say no, and there is no other reason to suspect you, then they cannot search or arrest you.


Stop and search

A police officer has the power to stop and search you if they have reasonable grounds to suspect:

  • That you are carrying illegal drugs
  • You are carrying a weapon
  • That you are in possession of stolen property
  • That you are in possession of something which could be used to commit a crime.

But before you are searched, the police officer must tell you:

  • Their name and police station
  • What they expect to find on your person
  • The reason they want to search you
  • Why they are legally allowed to
  • That you can/where to get a record of your search.


Removal of clothing

A police officer can ask you to take off your coat, jacket or gloves.

If they ask you to remove any religious clothing e.g. a veil or a turban, they must take you out of public view.

To remove any more clothing the officer must be the same sex as you.

  • Being searched does not mean that you are being arrested
  • If you are arrested, you should be taken to a police station and you have the right to free and independent legal advice.


Should you have any further questions, feel free to get in contact with your BAME Officer at [email protected]