Police raids are becoming increasingly more common as further pressure is made to bear on the Muslim community. But what duties should police adhere to, and what rights do we have?
Considering how house raids are becoming a larger part of everyday life in the UK, it is important we are all informed about what is actually prescribed in law. These rights and duties should be the points of reference, but clearly that is not always the case. Here are the points to remember in the case of a house raid (or ‘search of property’).
1. Police should conduct its searches in accordance to the Code of Practice (Code B).
2. Before the search the police should hand you a ‘Notice of Powers and Rights’ or leave it on the premises, if you are not present during the search.
3. Included in this Notice, officers must explain why they want to search your property, your rights as the occupier and whether the search is made with a search warrant or not.
4. Police officers must identify themselves and- if not in uniform- show you their warrant card.
5. Situations in which the police can enter premises without a warrant include :
- a serious or dangerous incident has taken place;
- when they want to deal with a breach of the peace;
- preventing a breach from happening;
- when someone is arrested;
- to save life; or
- prevent serious damage to property.
6. You have the right not to say anything until you have been given proper legal advice.
7. You should have the number of a lawyer at hand at all times (CAGE can provide you with a list of lawyers upon request)
8. You have a right to be in and on your property whilst the search is conducted; you are also entitled to have a friend or relative present during the search.
9. The police must have reasonable grounds for believing that the person they are looking for is on the premises.
10.They can search any premises occupied by someone who is under arrest for certain serious offences
11.They can only search for evidence relating to the offence for which you have been arrested or to some other offence which is connected with or similar to that offence, and they must have reasonable grounds for believing there is evidence there.
12.The police can force entry (with a warrant) if:
- you do not let the them in;
- they feel you are impossible to communicate with,
- you are absent or the premises is unoccupied;
- they have reasonable grounds for believing that if they do not force entry it would hinder the search, or someone would be placed in danger.
13.The police can only seize property if they have reasonable grounds for believing that it has been obtained illegally or that it is evidence in relation to an offence.
14.The police must provide you with an itemised list of items seized.
If your house has been raided or you would like further information contact CAGE:
For more advice please call 0207 377 6700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)