Factsheet No. 11: Quick Tips – Police Powers & Your Rights

If you are approached by the police, or asked to undergo a search, is important to be informed about your rights. This sharable graphic provides some quick tips.

  • Police can fine or arrest you if you breach the new COVID-19 laws
  • Police must tell you why they are stopping, searching or arresting you
  • Ask police for their name and police station
  • Tell police if you are 17 or younger
  • During an incident, ask police to turn on their Body Worn Video and have someone film from a distance
  • If police want to search you, say: “I do not agree to being searched”, but cooperate with the search
  • If police ask you questions, tell them your name and say: “I do not wish to discuss anything further.” 
  • If you’re under 14, a parent/guardian should be present for formal questioning 
  • If you’re 14–17, an adult of your choice should be present for formal questioning 
  • You do not need to provide ID, unless something illegal is found or you are being fined/arrested
  • If you sustain any injuries from police conduct, go to a doctor ASAP, take photos and get legal advice

RLC has a Police Accountability practice that offers free advice and information about police powers and your rights. If you need legal help, contact us at www.rlc.org.au/contact