Police powers

When the police can enter your home, search you, question you, or arrest you

What this chapter covers

This chapter explains what your rights are when the police want to do things like come inside your house or search your bag, and what powers they have in these situations. The chapter covers:

  • Entry powers – when the police can come into your home
  • Search powers – when the police can search you, or search your home or your things, like your car or your bag
  • Questioning you – when you have to answer their questions and give them information
  • Arrest powers – when the police can arrest you, and what your rights are if you've been arrested
  • DNA samples – when you have to give the police a mouth-swab or blood sample so they can test your DNA.

The chapter also explains your rights in these situations:

  • Your police records – how to get access to information that the police hold about you
  • Complaints – how to complain about the police, and who you can complain to.
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During the Covid 19 response, most Community Law Centres are still giving free legal support by phone and/or online.

Please find the contact details of your nearest Community Law Centre here to access their services.

We’re updating legal rights information during COVID 19 response right now and will have that information available on our website soon. Watch this space.

For now, you will also find out useful information on our Community Law Manual Facebook page.

The distribution of resources from our Online Bookshop are on hold until further notice.

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