Many of us believe that if police officers knock on the door, they have the right to enter our homes. Or, if they ask to be let in and you refuse, you have committed an offence.
None of these statements are true.
However, by inviting a police officer into your home, you are granting them extra powers and diminishing your own rights. The police know this, which is why they are always keen to persuade people to allow them in.
Without a search warrant or justifiable cause, the police have NO powers to enter your home.
If the police enter your home and see anything that they regard as suspicious – wrongly or rightly – it will be recorded on intelligence files back at the police station.
Secondly, there is the issue of ‘search and seizure’.
If you have invited the police in and you are subsequently arrested or they have strong suspicions a crime has been or is about to be committed, they can conduct a search of your premises and seize anything they deem as evidence without a search warrant.
In many cases the police rely on the occupants allowing them in so that they don’t have to go to the trouble of obtaining a warrant. A warrant that in all likelihood would have been denied by a Justice of the Peace, because of lack of evidence.
If you ever mistakenly invite the police into your home and they are not going to arrest you, then tell them to leave and they must do so immediately. They cannot detain you in your own home and demand you to answer questions about any allegations.
Refusing to open the door to cold calling police officers is not an offence. You are not obliged to answer the door to anyone without a genuine entry or search warrant. But the police are so used to people inviting them in, that they believe it is their automatic right, and will often unlawfully barge into the homes of people who open their doors, and then lie about it later, claiming that the occupant ‘invited them in’.
If the police come to your door, the safest method of dealing with them is to speak to them from a
nearby window. They cannot force entry through if their unlawful demands to be allowed in are
Ask them the purpose of their visit. If they insist you open the door, refuse unless they show a valid
search warrant or give a justifiable reason as to why that door should be opened.
Remember, your right to silence is inalienable. It cannot be used against you if you have not been arrested and you have a right to tell the police to leave your property whenever you deem it appropriate. If they refuse, report them by calling 101 and ask to speak to their superior officer. This will usually make those bullying officers walk away.
So, NEVER allow police into your home