The Best Student Life. Bristol SU

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If you are accused of plagiarism

See our leaflet all about plagiarism

If you are accused of breaking the code of conduct

Contact us to speak to an adviser.

If you are accused of breaking the local rules

Contact us to speak to an adviser.

If you are accused of a crime

Useful legal websites:

If you need legal assistance, you can find free legal advice and representation depending on your circumstances:


If you're stopped by the police - stop and search

Police officers with reasonable grounds for suspicion may stop, detain and search you or your vehicle, or anything in or on your vehicle. The most common things the police can search for are stolen or prohibited items, and controlled drugs. What “reasonable suspicion” is can vary. It should be objective and relate to you personally - not just a hunch. But reasonable suspicion doesn’t necessarily have to be based on something ‘concrete’. Acting like you are trying to hide something might lead to reasonable suspicion. However, generalisations (for example, that students are more likely to steal things!) are not grounds for reasonable suspicion. More details on procedure can be found here

If you are arrested

You can be arrested if:

  • the police have a valid arrest warrant; or
  • you are committing (or are about to commit) certain offences; or
  • the police have reasonable grounds for believing that you have committed, are committing or are about to commit, certain offences.

Here's more information on your rights when you're arrested. If you feel you have been mistreated, you can make a complaint against the police

How the University deals with criminal behaviour

Committing a criminal offence is “misconduct” under the University’s Student Disciplinary Regulations. If you are accused of misconduct, speak to a Just Ask adviser: we can talk you through the process, advise you on your options and accompany you to any meetings or committees you have to attend.

Under the student agreement between you and the University, you must disclose any “unspent” convictions or cautions (and, in the case of some courses – such as social work – “spent” convictions as well), both in your application and during your studies. A conviction becomes “spent” after a set amount of time - Nacro have a guide to the relevant time periods. If you are convicted of a crime (or receive a caution) during your studies at Bristol you should disclose this to the University.

If you are accused of misconduct that could also be a criminal offence, the University may report you to the police. If they do, or you are otherwise reported to the police, the University may defer dealing with your case internally until the police (and/or the courts) have finished dealing with your case. While you are awaiting trial, or under police investigation, the University may suspend you if they feel staff, other students, or property need protection. You might be restricted from certain premises or activities during the suspension. Unless the University thinks the matter is urgent, you can argue that you should not be suspended. The Just Ask advisers can help you with this.

If you are found guilty of misconduct, the University can impose a range of penalties upon you: from an absolute discharge (which means that although you are guilty of misconduct, the University doesn’t consider that you are blameworthy) to expelling you from University.