The police ask questions to gain information about crimes they are investigating. They may well ask tens or hundreds of people questions about a particular crime in an attempt to determine who did it and make an arrest.
You might think you have nothing to lose by helping them out and answering what they ask. Yet, as many wrongly arrested people will tell you, that’s not always a good idea.
It’s generally best to remain silent if the police are asking you for information
While there are certainly times when responding to a police officer does make sense, such as if you have information about a particular crime you’d like to help them solve, you need to understand that anything you say could be used against you. You need to tell them your name if they ask, but that is all you are required to disclose.
You do not have to stay for too long
The police are allowed to stop and question you. What they cannot do is keep you there indefinitely. If they wish to keep you for anything longer than a few minutes, then they need to arrest you.
You don’t want the police to think you are running away, though, so all you have to do is ask if you are free to leave. A simple “Can I go now?” should do it. If they say no, then tell them you’d like seek further legal guidance
Encounters with the police can be stressful, and that could lead you to make mistakes. Getting guidance to understand your next steps is the best way to protect your rights.