Know your rights
Police have certain powers to stop, detain, search, and arrest people. But they must also abide by the law. The following explains their responsibilities under the law. Make sure you know and understand what they are required to supply when asked. You have every right under the law to demand that they supply you information about who they are and what they are doing.
Supplying police officer’s details
(see section 637 of the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000)
If a police officer:
(i) searches or arrests a person;
(ii) searches a vehicle;
(iii) searches a place, other than a public place;
(iv) seizes any property;
(v) stops or detains a person or vehicle;
(vi) requires a person to state his or her name and address;
(vii) gives a person a direction under ss. 48 (move on direction) or 177 (direction at a crime scene) of the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000;
(viii) enters a place to make an inquiry or investigation or to serve a document; or
(ix) exercises a power as a public official,
the police officer must, as soon as reasonably practicable, inform the person the subject of the power of the following:
(i) if the police officer is not in uniform:
(a) that he or she is a police officer; and
(b) his or her name, rank and station; or
(ii) if the police officer is in uniform, his or her name, rank and station.
If the police officer is not in uniform, the police officer must also produce for inspection his or her identity card.
If the police officer is searching a person, vehicle or place, other than under a search warrant, the police officer must state the purpose of the search and the reason for seizing any property.
If two or more police officers are searching the vehicle or place, only the senior police officer present is required to comply with the above provisions.
However, if a person asks another police officer:
(i) if they are a police officer;
(ii) their name, rank and station; and/or
(iii) to produce an identity card;
the officer must give to the person the information requested or produce the identity card.
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