* Posts by rossco

1 post • joined 17 Jul 2009

Kent Police clamp down on tall photographers


What to do when stopped by plod

I found some very interesting text on the bruce schneier http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2009/03/holy_hand_grena.html

blog about how to react when stopped by the police. This was posted by someone called Clive on that blog and whilst I am not a lawyer appears to be suitable advice.

"h and remember in the UK always carry your passport and if the Police stop you get it out and show it to the officer and ask him to read out aloud what is written in the front cover from "their boss"... You then tell them to write that they has done so in their note book as part of the "official record". If they refuse you tell them that they are legaly obliged to do so.

What you have done is kick away the officers right to arrest you to "verify your identity" and force them to acknowledge this. Which for most things stops them arresting you as they legaly are not alowed to. Also they know they are now walking a bit of a tight rope and will have to do everything by the book. And as most officers do not know what is written in the "book" they are now on thin ice.

If they are daft enough to not immediatly comply you say "I belive you are impersonanting a police officer which is a criminal offense" and that you are now going to take "independent steps to verify their identity". If they question your right to do so you simply say "It's satutory".

By informing them you do not belive they are police officers they are now in the position of not "having lawfull authority untill they are identified as police officers". So they have been left in the position of not being able to do very much at all until you have "independantly verified" their identity. And they further become open to a charge of "unlawfull detention" etc which is a bit of a show stopper...

You have effectivly removed their "lawfull authority" you can also refuse to get into any vehical or be touched by them (it's assult at that point). If they even attempt to you can then inform them that you are now moving to a "place of safety for your own protection".

If they fail to alow you to independantly verify who they are they are or move to a place of safety they are in for significant problems in court. And if they do they get a load of grief from the station inspector or higher who you drag out to verify them. Which is a lose lose situation for them.

And if you do end up in court you or your brief can point out that you reminded the officer that he has a legal duty of care towards you as an individual which puts him in an awkward position legaly as effectivly if it can be shown (and in most cases it can with a clever brief) that they have failed in their duties...

Importantly it also shows in court that you where behaving in a reasonable fashion and the police officers where not. Which might appear a small point but infront of a jury it has kicked the credability of the police officers right out the door whilst boosting yours a very large amount (and with a jury credability goes one heck a lot further than "dubious evidence" does).

Once upon a time the most important piece of advice was, Never put yourself in a postion where you need to know all the "wriggles" to "get your self off the hook". Unfortunatly in this "new terrorist world" just pausing for breath is enough to get you into trouble so sadly you do need to know."

I especially agree with the last paragraph, more so if you dont fancy fighting through the European courts to get your DNA off the national database


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