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This section is an essential read to keep yourself on the right side of the law, two steps ahead of it and educate you what your rights are (if any) when living rough on the streets of London. If you need to know your legal rights when you are homeless and living rough on the streets an excellent 18 page guide called “The Rights Guide for Rough Sleepers” is available for download in PDF form, link at the end of this article. Yes just like everybody else you do have rights, but the police also have rights as well, if you are seen on the streets of London acting suspiciously.

I was personally homeless for a number of years and a had a few close shaves but never once had any dealings with the police. If you do have dealings with the police you are doing something wrong!

This guide was produced by a collaboration between Liberty, The Pavement Magazine, and legal charity Zacchaeus 2K to provide a good and useful guide for rough sleepers. It is essential reading to those who are new to living rough on the streets and also those who are hardened veterans and have been homeless for a longer period of time

The guide covers the main areas and incidences that you will come up against whilst living rough on the streets including Arrest, Stop and search, Answering questions, Moving you on, No-drinking zones, Sleeping rough, Toilet and Highway obstruction.

It comes in two main sections

Section 1 Police Powers

Covering Arrest, Stop and search, Answering questions, Moving you on and No Drinking zones

It makes clear when police can arrest you, if they do not have a warrant? including Reasonable suspicion, Your rights if you are arrested, Breach of the peace, Your possessions, When you are released, What powers do the police have to stop and search you?

It also covers Powers to search with reasonable suspicion and Powers to search without reasonable suspicion. Rules for the police, What is a search?, The search record, What should you do? Do you have to answer questions the police ask me? and Moving you on,

Section 2 Criminal Offences

Covering Sleeping Rough, Toilet and Highway Obstruction

Including No drinking zones, Is it a criminal offence to sleep on the street?, Is it a criminal offence to urinate on the street?, Is it a criminal offence to obstruct the highway?, Police complaints, Actions against the police,

Further questions or need further advice?

Liberty offer a free human rights telephone advice
service staffed by solicitors and barristers to help
answer any questions

Telephone number is 0845 123 2307
and is open on Mondays and Thursdays between
6.30pm and 8.30pm and Wednesdays between 12.30pm and 2.30pm.

Also Contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau for free legal advice for homeless people living rough on the streets.

Download the The Rights Guide for Rough Sleepers in PDF Form File Size 233kb