The police have the duty to protect and serve the community. They also have a duty to uphold the law and to apprehend citizens suspected of breaching or violating the law. To discharge these duties, they have the authority to stop ordinary people and give them orders. What should you do when you are ordered by the police?
One. When the police order you to identify yourself, you must comply and give the police your name and address. If you feel that you are going to be charged with an indictable offense, volunteer your age to the police officer.
Two. When there is a number of people in a public area such as a school or government building or roadside and the police order you to ‘move on’ you must comply. If the people are gathered for a peaceful assembly then the police do not have the power to order you to move on because you are exercising your right to freely assembles.
Three. When the police knock on your door after a complaint was made against you by your neighbors and the police give you a ‘noise abatement direction’ you must comply. If you are having a party and the music is too loud, you must tone down the music. If you are practicing in your garage with your band, you must lower the volume. This will prevent the police from taking more serious action like confiscating your stereo system or the musical instruments you are playing.
Four. When the police place you under arrest for an indictable offense, you must not resist them. If you resist them, they have the power to physically subdue you and put handcuffs on you before taking you to the police station where your arrest will be documented. You will be photographed, fingerprinted and you will be kept until the judge can see you and the charges against you will be read to you.
Five. When the police are arresting someone who is with you and you are ordered to stand aside or step aside so that the person who is with you can be arrested, you must comply. You cannot obstruct or hinder the police from arresting another person. If you do this, you can be charged with obstructing the police. If you use force to stop the police from effecting the arrest, you can be charged with assaulting a police officer.
Know your rights. Know whom you can call. It is best to always know a criminal lawyer whom you can call.This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.