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Your Rights with Police 2021

The is a basic guide explaining your rights when dealing with the Police.

Do we have to give Police our details – name, address and date of birth ?

No. Not usually. Police do have the right to ask a person for their details but persons have the right not to answer them. Everyone has the right to ask whatever questions they like. There is no crime in this. There is a crime in forcing or threatening persons to answer your questions in most circumstances.

However, from a legal (not lawful) perspective, ‘persons’ (being those people who hold government issued identification) are required to provide their name and address when requested by a police officer including:

  1. after a person has been arrested.
  2. when a person has fines unpaid ; and
  3. when the police suspect the person has witnessed a crime being committed;
  4. when a person is under 18 years old and the police suspect person of consuming alcohol or being over the legal alcohol limit;
  5. when a person is driving a car, and the person is suspect of, as an example, a traffic offence or refuses to submit to a breath test;
  6. when a person owns or was operating a vehicle and police suspect that it was used in committing a crime;

Persons are required to provide their details such as, for example, when operating a motor vehicle. They may also be required to provide the details of passengers if requested to do so.

It must be made clear that only persons are bound by legislation. Persons technically are men and women who by consent act as trustees of government created trust estates(see the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936).This is a fact that most people are not aware of.

When can a police officer give me a direction to move on ?

Everyone has the right to be where ever they wish to be as long as they are  not trespassing on other people’s property, particularly private property without the owner’s consent. You may, however, be given a lawful ‘move on’ order if you are drug dealing, intimidating or threatening other people or preventing others from exercising their rights.

Whilst a person is in a public area, the police can only issue you a move on order/direction if you are disturbing the peace. This may include a number of actions such as threatening, intimidating, using offensive language etc. Police may also request you cease and desist from your behaviour.

Preceding giving any order to move on, police must identify themselves, give you their name, rank and police station from which they operate, inform you as to the reason or justification for the direction, and caution you that it may be illegal for you to not obey the direction.

Police have the discretion as to whether or not they issue your person with an infringement notice. Several warnings are usually necessary.

It should be noted there is a difference between private and public property. This is often the source of arguments between the police and members of the public such as a train station, library etc. Generally, if the property is administered by a government department or statutory authority then it is a public place. Otherwise, it is a private place such as a home.

What if the move on order is unlawful ?

If you think the police direction is unlawful then you have two choices:

You can either obey or not obey and get a fine and possibly be arrested.

In addition, you may also file a complaint with the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission.

Lastly, you may also go to court and dispute the fine. If the fine is discharged, you will more than likely not get compensation for wasting your time appearing in court or for legal expenses, but you may be able to argue being compensated for damages if you were arrested.

Do I have to attend the police station if I have not been arrested ?

No. You are not obligated to go to the police station if you have not been arrested. Police will often pretend you have to go to the police station when you do not have to. If in doubt, ask the police officer “Am I under arrest?” If they say “no”, then you are free to walk off.

There is quite a bit of misunderstanding as to what qualifies as an arrest. As soon as a police officer has stopped you, he has brought you to a rest therefore has arrested you. If a police officer claims he has detained you, then this is also an arrest. In fact, even random breath tests are an arrest which could be argued qualifies as an unlawful arrest as you more than likely have not committed a crime or offence.

Do I have to participate in a police interview or answer questions after being arrested ?

Not usually. Everyone has the right to silence before and after they are arrested.

It is recommended that you never answer police questions until you have legal representation or better still until you appear in court. The police, being a business with an Australian Business number, exist to make a profit. Keeping the community safe is just their service they provide. The more charges police lay upon members of the community then the more profitable they are. This is why they ‘charge’ you (your estate).

There are some police and courts that will attempt to force you to answer questions in particular in regard to terrorist offences.

Whilst in police custody it is highly recommended you not sign any document including bail forms. If you decide to sign a bail form then sign it “All rights reserved” and under duress.

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