The police can stop and search you without arresting you...
The police can stop and search you (or your vehicle) without
arresting you. They must show you identification and tell you who they
are and why they want to search you.
If you draw the attention of the police they may simply ask you to
move on, or ask you some questions and make a note of your name. You
must give your correct name, address and date of birth even if they
are not arresting you. Be polite and cooperative without giving
information that you do not want to divulge. Legislation allows courts
to interpret 'a suspect's' refusal to answer questions as an indication
that they were in fact doing something wrong.
If you are searched keep your cool (okay, so this may not be
appropriate but we want you to know your rights!) and ask for a written
record. You are entitled to make a note of the officers names and
Although you can volunteer to go to a police station you cannot be
detained there without being arrested.
What happens if you are arrested?
Ask why you are being arrested. The police must tell you this.
Make a note of the officers names and shoulder number. You are only
required to give the police your correct name, date of birth
and address and they may contact this address to check you live
If you are asked further questions you should say that you want to
have a solicitor present before you answer any more questions.
Exercise your rights
You have the right to call a solicitor and one other person.
This can only be denied in exceptional circumstances.
Legal advice at a police station is free at all times and you may be
offered the services of a duty solicitor but they may not have
experience in working with nudist issues.
David Martin of the
Coast and Country
club has an excellent track record of successfully fighting cases
against nudists using an experienced solicitor in Birmingham and SUN is
pursuing his colleagues locally. When we have this information we will
publish it here, meanwhile, if you are arrested simply for being naked
at Studland call the Coast & Country Club on 0870 458 2115 (8am to 8pm
most days). SUN has a
legal fund to support law abiding nudists. Asking for a solicitor
won't make you look guilty and it's ESSENTIAL to have somebody on your
side who knows the law!
Until you see your solicitor
- DO NOT answer any police
questions except to give your name, date of birth and address.
- DO NOT make or sign any
written statements or notebooks.
- DO NOT plead guilty to
- DO NOT accept a caution
or warning - they may sound nice but their can be legal and
employment repercussions later on if they are formally recorded
as an admission of guilt.
WAIT FOR YOUR SOLICITOR - THEY SHOULD ALWAYS
BE PRESENT AT ANY INTERVIEW
If you are detained
You will be searched and your possessions will be listed and
temporarily confiscated while you are detained at the station.
Ask to consult the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) codes of
practice - these will inform you of your rights in custody, including
your rights to food, drink and medical attention.
As a general rule you can only be held in detention UNCHARGED for 24
hours or at the very worst 36 hours for a serious offence.
If the police have reason to believe you may be concealing Class A
drugs, or dangerous items, they have the right to intimately search your
nose, ears, mouth or anus without your consent using reasonable force
(courts have standards of what reasonable force means). However, this
must be properly authorised and recorded.
- In almost all circumstances body searches must be carried out by
a registered nurse or doctor.
- If you are concerned a search has not been properly conducted
speak to your solicitor.
- Be careful about resisting the search physically as you could be
charged with assaulting the person searching you.
- Intimate samples like blood, urine and seamen may only be taken
with your signed consent and MUST be taken by a doctor or nurse.
Immediately after release write down everything that happened, this
may be useful as evidence.
Useful contact numbers and further sources of support
SUN Information Line - 01202 581207 (24hr answer phone)
Coast & Country Club - 0870 458 2115 (8am to 8pm most days)
GALOP Shoutline - 020 7740 2040 - Offers confidential assistance,
referrals and support to gay and bisexual men in dealing with homophobic
abuse or violence and the police.
London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard - 020 7837 7324 (24 hours)
SUN Nudists' Rights Card (Pilot & Update) | Five laws the police could use against nudists | Your rights when dealing with the police | What to do if challenged by a National Trust warden | Nudist Legal Rights FAQ | SUN's Legal Fund: Ready to support YOU in 2005