Being Arrested - Your Rights

When you are arrested  

If you are arrested, you will usually be taken to a police station, held in custody in a cell and then questioned. 

After you have been taken to a police station, you may be released or charged with a crime (external link)

Your rights in custody  

The custody officer at the police station must explain your rights. You have the right to: 

You will be searched and your possessions will be kept by the police custody officer while you are in the cell. 

Young people under 18 and vulnerable adults 

The police must try to contact your parent, guardian or carer if you are under 18 or a vulnerable adult. 

They must also find an ‘appropriate adult’ to come to the station to help you and be present during questioning and searching. An appropriate adult can be: 

  • your parent, guardian or carer 
  • a social worker 
  • another family member or friend aged 18 or over 
  • a volunteer aged 18 or over 

The National Appropriate Adult Network (external link) provides appropriate adult services in England and Wales. 

Your rights when being questioned 

The police may question you about the crime you are suspected of - this will be recorded. You do not have to answer the questions but there could be consequences if you do not. The police must explain this to you by reading you the police caution: 

“You do not have to say anything. But, it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.” 

See also: