CLRA’s 101 On Your Basic Rights

Do you have to say your name if the Police ask for it?

If someone is questioned by police, and they haven’t committed a crime, but the police suspect they have, what obligation does that person have to speak to the police? Your rights change when you are “suspected” but how do we know what is legal “suspicion” as opposed to being intimidated into admitting guilt while answering unlawful questioning by the police?

In light of the upcoming Free Cannabis Qld Picnic, I asked the above questions to the Community Law Resource Association (http://clra.info/) and this was their response:

CRIMES ACT 1958 – SECT 456AA Requirement to give name and address

(1) A police officer may request a person to state his or her name and address if the police officer believes on reasonable grounds that the person—<

(a) has committed or is about to commit an offence, whether indictable or summary; or (b) may be able to assist in the investigation of an indictable offence which has been committed or is suspected of having been committed.
S. 456AA(2) amended by No. 37/2014 s. 10(Sch. item 36.12(b)).

(2) A police officer who makes a request under subsection (1) must inform the person of the grounds for his or her belief in sufficient detail to allow the person to understand the nature of the offence or suspected offence.
(4) A person who is requested by a police officer under subsection (1) to state his or her name and address may request the member to state, orally or in writing, his or her name, rank and place of duty.

(5) A police officer who, in response to a request under subsection (4)— (a) refuses or fails to comply with the request; or (b) states a name or rank that is false in a material particular; or . (c) states as his or her place of duty an address other than the name of the police station which is the police officer’s ordinary place of duty; or (d) refuses to comply with the request in writing if requested to do so— is guilty of a summary offence punishable on conviction by a level 11 fine (5 penalty units maximum).

CRIMES ACT 1958 – SECT 464I No power to detain person not under arrest

Nothing in sections 464 to 464H (except as provided by an order made under section 464B(5)) confers the power to detain against his or her will a person who is not under arrest.

456 / 464i is all you need to know; if they ask for name etc, just say… “Sorry officer have I committed a crime?” You can also quote them Kaba vs Watson and DPP vs Hamilton.