I just read this:
The Isle of Wight police tweeted:
Male flagged us down tonight requesting a lift. Unfortunately he had an outstanding warrant so his lift took him to #Newport custody.
I’d just like to say that if ever police stop for you, 9 times out of 10 they WILL do a database check before letting you out! I’ve only had one ride with an on-duty police officer who didn’t do so, over in Exmoor, who happened to be the nicest and most helpful policeman I’ve ever met (when he dropped me off he pointed out that I could actually camp ANYWHERE around there, in the national park).
I get police stopping for me occasionally – more often to do a database check than to actually give me a lift. If they’re doing a database check they WILL stop with lights flashing – but this doesn’t mean that you’ve done anything wrong, it’s just what they do. As long as you don’t have a warrant for your arrest it’ll be fine (but they will find out what’s on your record when they do the check). You do not have to give any ID, and nor even any details at all unless they have suspicion that you may have done something illegal (though hitchhiking, being a supposedly deviant act, may give them reason to believe that you have done so).
If they tell you that you’re hitchhiking illegally, note that in NO PLACE on the Isle of Wight is this the case. The only way you could be hitchhiking illegally is if you’re deemed to be causing a clear disturbance to drivers. There being no motorways anywhere on the island, it is legal to hitchhike everywhere (though the port officials may contest this if you’re hitchhiking on their property, but it’s easy enough to go a few metres out of their property).
On the bright side, I just read this about some young Belgian scouts hitchhiking on the island a few years back: