After this case of suspected harassment by the police in England in response to refusal to provide a name while walking to catch a train I wondered when you are required to stop, and when you are required to answer questions as a pedestrian. From the linked pages, it would seem the answer is that you are not required to answer any questions. You are required to stop if you are either legally arrested or are going to be searched.
To be legally arrested the police must:
- identify themselves as the police
- tell you that you’re being arrested
- tell you what crime they think you’ve committed
- explain why it’s necessary to arrest you
- explain to you that you’re not free to leave
To detain you for a search the police must tell you:
- their name and police station
- what they expect to find, for example drugs
- the reason they want to search you, for example if it looks like you’re hiding something
- why they are legally allowed to search you
- that you can have a record of the search and if this isn’t possible at the time, how you can get a copy
From my reading, unless all of one of these sets of actions have been completed, you are allowed to continue about your business as if the police were not there. Is this interpretation correct?