What it helps to know
When asked by a police officer, you will need to supply your name, address, occupation and any licence you must carry.
You do not have to go with a police officer unless you have been arrested for an offence (except when required to accompany under the Land Transport Act 1998).
An office can only search you after they have arrested you, unless they have reasonable grounds to suspect that:
- You have evidence relating to a serious offence (punishable by 14 years or more in prison)
- You have illegal drugs on your person
- You are unlawfully in possession of an offensive weapon; or
- You are carrying firearms when you shouldn’t
When searching you, a police officer also has the right to search any bags or containers that you may be carrying at the time.
The general rule regarding a search of premises is – no warrant, no search. A warrant is required with respect to suspected offences under the Summary Proceedings Act 1957; Indecent Publications Act 1963; Gaming and Lotteries Act 1977.
No Warrant is required in respect of suspected offences under the Arms Act 1983; the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975; and the Sale of Liquor Act 1962.
Police have what is called an ‘implied licence’ to come onto your property, but unless they have a reasonable suspicion as mentioned above, you can ask them to leave and they will have tom comply with your request.
If arrested/questioned say: “I wish to remain silent, I will make no statement or answer further questions. I demand to phone my lawyer”. Make no deals and remember that you may be convicted as a direct result of anything you say to the police.
Again Remember the main rule: Don’t make any statments! (By the way – everything except you name, address, occupation and date of birth is a statement).