B.C.’s civil liberties watchdog has re-released its popular arrest handbook.
The BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) said the new edition of The Arrest Handbook — A Guide to Your Rights is widely expanded and includes major changes to the legal landscape since last updated in 2012.
"We continue to see policing that disproportionately harms marginalized communities, including Indigenous, Black, and other racialized people, those who use criminalized drugs, those experiencing behavioural health crises, and those who are unhoused," BCCLA policy director Meghan McDermott said.
"We've made this handbook to educate and empower individuals and communities most at risk of infringements on their civil liberties by police," McDermott added.
The handbook provides easy-to-understand information on rights people need to know when interacting with police on topics like arrest, detention, search and seizure, and youth and the law. The updated version includes new sections on heavily policed communities, mental health and involuntary treatment, and protest, civil disobedience and Indigenous resistance.
The 106-page edition of the handbook, first published in 1988, is available online and in print at no cost to community groups. It is available in English, traditional and simplified Chinese, French, Punjabi and Spanish.
Also being released in these six languages is The Arrest Pocketbook — a compact version of the Handbook with a QR code to the full-length version on the back, convenient enough to slip into a pocket.
The handbook work was done with support from the Law Foundation of BC, the Canadian Bar Law for the Future Fund, staff lawyers of the BCCLA and with the assistance of criminal, mental health and human rights law experts.
The BCCLA cautioned the handbook is in no way intended to replace advice from a lawyer.