John Cowley, Head of Counselling, Health and Wellbeing offers some useful tips on what to do if you get arrested.
Believe or not, students at University get arrested. I’ve come across a great article from Gibran UK, a not-for-profit social enterprise, which has some useful tips for students on how to respond in the event of an arrest.
These tips offer some great advice for Cardiff Uni students and are well worth noting, just in case!
Getting arrested by the police is a very frightening experience, but if this happens, it’s important that you stay calm, know your rights, and handle the situation as best you can.
1. Stay calm
Struggling, fighting back, or otherwise resisting arrest may lead to further charges being brought against you.
2. Are you really being arrested?
The police are allowed to stop and question you at any time; they may also search you if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that you are carrying weapons, drugs, or stolen property. However, just because the police are questioning or searching you doesn’t mean you are being arrested.
3. Find out what you are charged with
If you are arrested, the police must tell you what crime they think you have committed. Some convictions will impact on your future career, so it is important to find out what you are charged with right away.
4. Think before accepting a caution
For minor offences, the police may give you a caution instead of arresting and charging you. A caution can only be administered if you admit your guilt; being cautioned instead of charged means that you can go free, but while it is not the same as a criminal conviction, a caution may still impact on your future career. Never accept a caution without thinking first, especially if you are not guilty of the crime in question.
5. Tell someone where you are
Once you have been arrested, you have the right to let somebody know that you are in custody.
6. Speak with the victim if possible
If there is a victim, they may be able to take action to alleviate the situation. However, you should never approach the victim before asking a police officer if there are any restrictions preventing you from doing so.
7. Talk to someone
After your arrest, you should talk to your parents, the NUS, a counselling service, a student advice centre, or somebody else in whom you can confide. They will help you to deal with the aftermath of your arrest, and may be able to help prevent it from happening again.
What support is available to Cardiff University Students?
My team in Counselling, Health & Wellbeing are used to dealing with all manner of things. Our team of professionals offer a confidential service that aims to support students and we hope that if you are arrested you feel able to tell us, if you thought it would enable us to help you better. Please contact us in confidence by email, telephone or call in, whichever suits you best.
You can also contact Gibran UK who supports women offenders, and has recently extended their services to include men.
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