Bust Cards

What is a bust card?
Bust cards are often used to contain basic advice on what to do if arrested, and to give people the number of a defence lawyer experienced in protest related cases.

They can also be useful though, to get other key messages across – such as what to do if you are stopped and searched, or your rights in relation to police photography.

It is up to you how you want to use your bust card, and what information you want to put on it. The general rule is the simpler the better but keep in mind who it is you are trying to reach. Make sure the information you are putting across is relevant to the people who will be on the demonstration.
Some suggestions of what to put on your bust card are below. Follow the link to see examples of bust cards that have been used on demonstrations.

What to put on your bust card:
Solicitors names and numbers
Where there is a possibility of arrests, this is vital information to get across, and it makes it easier to do follow up support in court if defendants are represented by a lawyer who understands the work that legal support groups do.

What to do if arrested.
Generally speaking you’ll need to keep this simple. The most important things to get across are to call a lawyer, and to say nothing. Many legal support groups have found that many people are convicted solely on the basis of what they said when interviewed by police at the station. For this reason, legal support groups often strongly advise people to give a ‘no comment’ interview.

Legal Support Team number and e-mail contact
It may be important to give people some way of contacting the legal support team if they or one of their friends are arrested, or if they feel they have been treated unlawfully by the police.

What to do if stopped and searched
In some cases police target stop and search operations at protesters. The fear is often that these are used as fishing expeditions to get the names and addresses of people attending. Some groups therefore emphasise your rights on stop and search on a bust card: You do not need to give your name and address under any search power. You need to give a name and address only if you are driving a vehicle or you have committed an offence or anti-social behaviour.

What to do if you are photographed or filmed by the police
This is increasingly an area of concern, and some groups have included this on a bust card. While the police are able to photograph and film whoever they wish, there is no duty on you, as a protester, to co-operate.

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