Some stop and search powers allow you to be searched without grounds (but with approval of a senior police officer). 

Our officers can stop and search you:

  • as part of anti-terrorism activity
  • if there has been serious violence or disorder in an area
  • if we're looking for a suspect who fits your description
  • if we have reasonable grounds to suspect you're carrying drugs, a weapon or stolen property.

Stop and searches can take place anywhere but normally take place in public places.

We can only search you if we have reasonable grounds to suspect that we're likely to find:

  • Drugs
  • Weapons
  • Stolen property
  • Items which could be used to commit burglary, theft or deception
  • Certain types of firework
  • Evidence of game and wildlife offences
  • Alcohol at or on route to a designated sporting event
  • Items made, adapted or intended to damage or destroy property
  • Articles connected with terrorism.

Before the search takes place, we will why you have been detained for the purpose of a search. Although this does not mean you have been arrested, you must remain with the police officer until the search has been completed. The length of time you are detained must be reasonable and kept to a minimum.

Also, before starting the search an officer must tell you:

  • Why they intend to search you
  • What they are looking for
  • Their name and the station where they work. (There are occasions when an officer may not need to give you their name, but they must then give you their identification number).
  • The legal power or authority they are using
  • Your entitlement to a copy of the search record.

The officer must record every search that they carry out and you are entitled to a copy of this.  The officer will either give you a copy of the search record there and then, or give you a receipt with details of how you can obtain a copy of the record within one year of the date of the search.

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