Police Powers of Arrest - Your Rights

To arrest you the police need reasonable grounds to suspect you are involved in a crime for which your arrest is necessary.  

The police have powers to arrest you anywhere and at any time, including on the street, at home or at work.  

The police arrest procedure   

If you are arrested the police must: 
  • identify themselves as the police 

  • tell you that you are being arrested 

  • tell you what crime they think you have committed 

  • explain why it is necessary to arrest you 

  • explain to you that you are not free to leave 

If you are under 18 the police should only arrest you at school if it is unavoidable, and they must inform your headteacher.  

The police must also contact your parents, guardian or carer as soon as possible after your arrival at the police station.  

Police powers to use reasonable force   

If you try to escape or become violent, the police can use ‘reasonable force’, for example holding you down so you cannot run off.  

You can also be handcuffed.  

The police have powers to search you when you are arrested.