Know Your Rights

Below you’ll find details about your rights in the event of being approached by Police and/or a PAD “sniffer” dog in relation to drugs and alcohol.

Please take the time to read this, as it could prove invaluable if you find yourself in this kind of situation. And always look after yourself and others.

If you see a sniffer dog

  • If a sniffer dog sits down next to you, the police are allowed to search you.
  • If you do have drugs, do not suddenly take them. Along with being incredibly dangerous, it won’t help you escape detection. In certain circumstances, you can still be charged without Police having found drugs on you.
  • Do not hide drugs inside your body.

If Police want to search you

  • Stay calm and be polite. Don’t swear. Do not actively resist the search or push a sniffer dog away.
  • Be cooperative and let the police search you. Police can search you, including a pat down search, in a public place. They can also search anything you are carrying and the car you are travelling in. You are entitled to ask them why they are searching you, and ask them for their name, rank and station, if you wish.
  • If you have drugs on you, the law says you must give your correct name and address to police. You don’t have to say anything more. This is your right to silence. If the police want you to accompany them for further questioning, ask if you are being arrested and what the charge is. Without arrest you are free to go. If you are arrested, seek legal advice as soon as possible.
  • If you don’t have drugs on you and police ask for your name and address, ask them whether you have to. If police say you have to give your name and address, then it is better to cooperate. Generally, the police will make an effort to question you in a private place to avoid any embarrassment.
  • If you feel you have been unfairly targeted or harassed by police and/or their sniffer dogs, complaints can be made to the Independent Broadbased Anti-corruption Commission at a later stage. If the sniffer dogs do visit us and you would like information or welfare assistance, please visit Helper Hut Central (Info) at K14, call the Helpers on 0430 091 120, or find the nearest staff member you can.

For further information, follow this link to the Fitzroy Legal Service’s webpage, which details police powers in relation to drugs and alcohol.

And here is a document about PAD dogs, which has been prepared by Victoria Police.

We appreciate and respect the efforts of Victoria Police and support their work in and around both Meredith and Golden Plains.