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You Get Stopped By A Cop, What Now?

You Get Stopped By A Cop, What Now?

A citizen is only required to present their name, identification card and address to a police officer when asked.

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It is always good to equip yourselves with knowledge on your rights as a citizen, and a human being in general.

This is so we can live harmoniously without anyone taking advantage of us.

What do you know of your rights when it comes to law enforcement? The most basic thing to do is of course to not aggravate any situation.

The Malaysian Bar Council has an article on “Police and Your Basic Rights”.

For startets, when you are stopped by a police officer, the first thing a normal citizen would do is to check if the police officer is in uniform or not.

If the police officer is in uniform, then you can take down the name and the badge number of the police officer.

If you were stopped by a plainclothes officer, ask for their police authorisation card.

The reason for this is that the card comes in different colours and each colour represents the position of the police officer.

If the card is red, then it means that the police officer is suspended, and he has no right to stop anyone or even ask them any questions. If the card is blue, then the police officer is an Inspector or a higher ranked officer.

If the card is yellow, then the police officer is below the Inspector rank. If the card is white, then the police officer is a volunteer reserve police officer.

What to do when you’re questioned

When questioned by the police, a citizen is only required to give their name, identification card (IC) and address.

If a citizen is questioned further, then the citizen can ask if they are under arrest.

You would know If you were under arrest if the police officer answered yes.

However, the police can’t arrest a citizen simply because they are likely to be a witness and the police wants to take a witness statement.

When detained, ask why you’re being detained and don’t fight back. Police officers have the right to use reasonable force if you fight back. Ask for the nearest police station and don’t fight back.

After being notified, make phone calls to family, a lawyer, or a Legal Aid Centre to inform them of your arrest, time, place, reason, arresting officer’s identification, and the station you were taken to.

You can be detained for up to 24 hours at a police station or in a police station lock-up for assisting an investigation.

These are the basic rights that every Malaysian citizen must know and exercise to keep them safe and sound.


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