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In most situations, you do not have to tell the police your name and address

In most situations, you do not have to tell the police your name and address. However, if they ask, it is usually a good idea to tell the police your name and address or show them some ID. Otherwise, they might make trouble for you or even arrest you.

  • You do have to tell the police your name and address in some situations, including:
  • if police suspect on reasonable grounds that you may be able to assist them in investigating an indictable offence because you were at or near the scene of the offence (Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002, s.11(1));
  • if the police intend to give you a direction to leave a place (Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002, s.11(2)); or
  • if police suspect on reasonable grounds that an apprehended violence order has been made against you (Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002, s.13A); or
  • if you are under 18 and police suspect you of carrying or consuming alcohol in public (Summary Offences Act 1988, s.11); or
  • if you are suspected of committing an offence on a train or part of a railway.(Rail Safety Act 2002, s.96); or
  • if police are trying to serve a fine default warrant (Fines Act 1996, s.104); or
  • if police have been authorised to use their emergency public disorder powers, and you are on a target road or in a target area, and police suspect on reasonable grounds that you have been involved or are likely to be involved in large-scale public disorder (Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002, s.87L); (see Part 8 – Emergency public disorder powers); or
  • In many other situations relating to vehicles and traffic. This includes giving the police your name and address (and provide your licence) if you are driving or accompanying a learner driver, or if you are involved in a traffic accident or if the vehicle you are on is suspected of being used for a serious offence.

In nearly all other situations, even if you have to tell the police your name and address, you do not have to show ID.

Disclaimer : 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.

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