Know Your Rights

For information on your rights when taking part in a protest, Netpol member Green and Black Cross has extensive information on its website.

Key Messages

The 5 key messages that everyone should remember are:

No Comment

You do not need to answer police questions, so don’t.

No Personal Details

You do not have to give them under ANY stop and search power, so don’t.

No Duty Solicitor

Instead use a recommended solicitor with protest experience.

No Cautions

Accepting a caution are an admission of guilt, so don’t.

What Power?

Ask officers what power they are relying on to challenge them to act lawfully.

Stop and search

Both Y-Stop and Green and Black Cross have useful resources on your rights if you are stopped and searched by the police.

Netpol has also published guidance on filming the police during a stop and search, and on your rights if you are subjected to a strip search.

The law is different if you are stopped and searched on suspicion of engaging in anti-social behaviour.

Counter-terrorism stops at ports and airports

In advance of the COP21 summit in Paris in 2015, we published a summary of your rights if you are stopped at a port of entry under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

Police raids

Netpol has produced a guide to your rights if the police want to search your home or property. Find out what officers can or can’t do if they want to enter your home to conduct a search or arrest you.

Talking to the Cops

Lots of protest groups come under pressure to engage with the police, either to ‘notify’ them of upcoming protests or through Police Liason Officers. Our guide to talking to the cops explores the pros and cons of talking to the cops – and includes advice on minimising surveillance opportunities.

Mobile fingerprinting

A Netpol guide explains your rights if the police take your fingerprints with a mobile device.

Police Surveillance

How can you stay safer from police surveillance when attending a protest? Use our quick-start guide to resisting police surveillance and don’t be on a database!

Dispersal orders

Netpol’s campaign for the repeal of powers that extend the police’s ability to dispense individuals from an area for up to 48 hours has produced a short guide to your rights if you are threatened with dispersal, particularly during a protest.

Private security

Our briefing for campaigners explains the powers of private security personnel, the difference between security guards and bailiffs or high court enforcement officers and how you can make complaints about misconduct.

Police ‘Kettles’

Sometimes on a protest, police surround demonstrators to keep them in a particular place. This is called a ‘kettle’, or in official police language, ‘containment’. Read our guide to kettling and the law.

Support Netpol

It takes time and energy to defend our right to freely assemble in public without facing the threat of arrest or harassment from the police – and it takes the support of people like you.