Know Your Rights: What to do if you are arrested or searched under anti-terror laws, or questioned by the security services

photo Ninian Reid, September 2020, CC By 2.0

You can download a summary of the main points in leaflet form as a PDF here, or at the end of the page. 

Arani Solicitors Ltd. and IHRC have prepared this brief guide for people affected by anti-terrorist laws and policies. It deals with your rights if contacted by MI5, Special Branch or other parts of the security apparatus in the UK or if you are arrested or your premises are searched.  Please keep this guide with you.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS 

What to do if you are contacted by the security services or police, if you are arrested or your premises are searched under ‘anti-terrorist’ or other legislation. 

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE ASKED TO ASSIST ON A VOLUNTARY BASIS

If you are asked by the police or MI5 to assist with their enquiries on a voluntary basis, you should know the following:

• You are not under arrest

• You have the right to leave at anytime

• You have the right to remain silent

• You have the right to consult a solicitor of your choice for legal advice and representation

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR PREMISES ARE BEING SEARCHED

If your premises are being searched by a search warrant, you have the following rights:

• The right to remain silent

• The right to consult a solicitor of your choice for legal advice and representation

• The right to a copy of the search warrant

• The right to witness the search or have it witnessed by a friend, neighbour or other person

• The right to object to the seizure of certain confidential material, such as legitimate communication between you and your lawyer(s), personal medical records, journalistic material, etc.

If your consent is sought, you have the right to object to the search.

Note: whether you are asked to assist on a voluntary basis or your premises are being searched, it is a good practice to make an immediate note of the following:

• The officer or officers’ name(s) (or warrant or other identification number), police station and telephone number

• The time and place that you were contacted

• Anything that is said to you by the officer(s)

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE ARRESTED

If you are arrested, you have the following rights (which, in our view, it is vital to exercise):

• The right to remain silent

• The right to consult a solicitor of your choice for free legal advice and representation

Note: all of the above advice is subject to this caveat: it is a criminal offence to fail to disclose as soon as reasonably practicable information knowing or believing it might be of material assistance in preventing the commission of an act of terrorism or securing the apprehension, prosecution or conviction of another person in the UK for a terrorism offence.

KEEP A COPY OF THIS LEAFLET WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES

A guide prepared by Arani Solicitors and published by Islamic Human Rights Commission, January 2021.

Arani Solicitors and IHRC have prepared this brief guide for people affected by anti-terrorist laws and policies. It deals with your rights if contacted by MI5, Special Branch or other parts of the security apparatus in the UK or if you are arrested or your premises are searched. 

Please report incidents of harassment to IHRC on 020 8904 4222 or info@ihrc.org or by using our online incident reporting form www.ihrc.org.uk/incidents

If you need any further advice and/or assistance, contact:

ARANI SOLICITORS

43a South Road, Southall, Middlesex, UBl lSW

Tel: 020 8893 5000 email: info@aranisolicitors.com

EMERGENCY NO: 07866 107 034

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