ASRA - Australian Skateboard Racing Association

Here's something that a friend passed on to me.

I thought it would be pretty handy for skaters  to know this, considering the negative attention we get from the police.

So basically what I take from the article is a person is not obliged to stop for police or answer their questions unless you are under arrest.

Now bear in mind that most police officers don't know the laws they are meant to be enforcing, and if they do manage to catch you, you will probably end up on the ground with a knee in your back or worse.

I'm guessing it's a different story when it comes to people operating motor vehicles, otherwise it would be impossible to do random breath testing and such.

However considering skaters are lumped into a category with pedestrians, we should be in the clear right?

Any of you folks out there with a better grasp of the law care to chime in here?

Tags: laws, police, rights, skater

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yahooo! no more coppers stoppin me!!!

If this old law is sustained and implimented, the only thing that will happen is the Police will start arresting people on sight, and cuffing them, to bring them before the courts, instead of "having a quiet word first".

What would you prefer, having a chat with the Police, and MAYBE cop a fine, or have a very pissed off officer/s eventually nab you......I don't think the coppers will be wanting to "chat" too much after you've made them chase you all over wherever you are.


Just my thoughts.

Thats a good point sakamoto.

This new precedent could be beneficial though in those situations when dealing with a very unreasonable officer. You know the ones who have it in for you before you even open your mouth.

It gives you the option to stay and chat or exit stage left depending on their attitude

But it also means that if they do catch up to you, you will most likely be visiting a court near you..

There's never been a general requirement to hang about and talk to the police or answer their questions - this case is just a graphic illustration of that. There are exceptions - motor vehicle offences, and if the police have a "reasonable suspicion" they can stop you to search you. There are probably some other exceptions too.

But in general, you are free to go, unless the police arrest you. And it can be tricky to know whether you are under arrest. A police hand on the shoulder is enough, and I would have thought the police chasing you would have also signified arrest, but it seems I'm wrong on that.

But I wouldn't advise doing a runner. It's better to find out for sure that you're not under arrest. The best way to find out is to ignore the police questions and ask them one simple question of your own: "Am I free to go?"

If they don't say "Yes" (and they won't - they'll probably ignore you and keep asking their own questions), you then ask a second question "Am I under arrest?"

Again, they'll probably ignore this, so you go back to your first question - "Am I free to go?" Keep cycling through your two questions (without answering any of theirs!) until either:

  • they tell you you're free to go
  • they arrest you

My understanding is that you are not under arrest until you have been read your rights, and in my experience arresting officers sometimes forget to do this. 

Also look at it this way.  If you chose to ignore them and keep skating or fleeing the area, the officer may perceive that this is the general attitude of skaters.  So when he comes across the next skater (which may be you) that officer may not be so leanient with you.  As Beet said "under suspicion" is a term they like to use a lot as it allows a large blanket to detain you under without having to officially arrest you.  A sensible skater would stop and avoid potential problems as it is only a couple of minutes of your time.  You all carry phones and they all have cameras in now days.  It is well within your civil rights to operate your camera without their approval to cover your arse, that footage just can't be used in a court of law unless you obtain that officer's permission at the time of filming.  All officers, except under cover wear name badges on the shirt pockets so read it aloud so their name is on camera and if under cover or plain clothes, you have the right to see their badge to prove they are an officer and note their badge number. They can't make you turn the camera off and certainly are not allowed to handle you in the process of trying to do so unless you have clearly broken the law.  As Bugs said, just keep asking them if you're under arrest or are you free to go?  Personally i went to my local station where i skate the most and asked for their senior officer and went the rules with them and my rights as a civilian.  They are understanding when you approach them as it shows your prepared to know your rights and also covers your arse if there are problems in the future as you have obtained that information from them in the first place.  They are less likely to go back and argue with their station commander than argue with you.

Too much American TV Uan.

uan whozarmy said:

My understanding is that you are not under arrest until you have been read your rights... 

So if Im out and about with my mates at 2am and a cop car pulls over, I can ignore him? 

If you're in a car, no.
If you're not in a car, then in theory, yes. But in practice it's a different matter, and I'd suggest that while you might be legally in the right, the cops wouldn't agree, and they might be angry.

The issue was the police didn't first ask for their name and address, if a police officer asks for your name and address you are legally obliged to provide them.

No, that's not true - you're under no general obligation to provide that info to police (except when driving a car, and a few other situations).

Try this:

Jack said:

The issue was the police didn't first ask for their name and address, if a police officer asks for your name and address you are legally obliged to provide them.

OMG Kids..... Do we not remember our nursery rhymes from kindergarten. It go's YES SIR NO SIR THREE BAGS FULL SIR.

I guarantee you argue with cops you loss, straight up no ifs or buts.

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