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Photographers Rights - Your rights on arrest
A brief guide for street photographers.
(©urban75, updated December 2009)
If you are arrested, keep calm and do not panic. Remember that you have the right to be treated fairly and with respect by the police.
When you are arrested you do not have to say anything to the police. BUT if you are later charged with a crime and you have not mentioned, when questioned, something that you later rely on in court, then this may be taken into account when deciding if you are guilty.
We suggest you respond with:
I have been advised that I should answer no questions.
It is not right that I should have to give a complete case for my self until charges have been made and properly explained and until there are other people around to check that questions put to me are fair and legal.
I will say nothing until I am advised to do so by a fully qualified legal advisor.
There may be good reasons why you do not wish to say anything to the police, and you should not be intimidated into answering questions. Get a solicitor down to see you in the police station as soon as possible.
Remember that it is wise not to discuss the case with the police until you have consulted privately with a solicitor.
If the police are about to arrest you or have already arrested you, there is no such thing as a 'friendly chat' to sort things out. Anything you say can later be used against you. Think before you talk.
Info and legal advice
Please check out out our legal rights section but bear in mind that this information is provided as a guide and we make no guarantees of its accuracy.
Always get proper legal representation if you get into bother with the law.
Your rights on arrest - legal help and useful information
Stop and search powers of Section 44, Terrorism Act 2000
Police complaints - legal help and useful information
Civilian Powers Of Arrest - overview
Standard Powers and Duties of Community Support Officers
Next: News, case studies & links
Note: This article attempts to be a brief educational guide to the sometimes-complex matter of your rights as a photographer. It is not legal advice and we recommend seeking out proper legal advice if you encounter problems or contributing to our bulletin boards. Some material in this article has been sourced from the UK Photographers Rights website.
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