If you are stopped and searched you will be asked to say what your ethnic background is from the list of national census categories.
You do not have to say what it is if you don't want to, though this information is regularly monitored by Wiltshire Police, community diversity groups and the Home Office to ensure that we carry out stops and searches fairly, responsibly and without discrimination.
The more commonly used powers are:
Other stop and search powers allow the police to search for other items, these include:
All powers to stop and search must be used fairly, responsibly, with respect for people being searched and without unlawful discrimination.
If you have difficulty understanding the process, for example if English is not your first language or if you are deaf, then we must take reasonable steps to ensure you understand your rights.
One of our key priorities is to improve trust and confidence in the police, particularly among black and minority ethnic communities and young people.
The Equalities Act 2010 makes it unlawful for police officers to discriminate when using their powers.
Our officers must be polite and respectful at all times and the process should be handled as quickly and professionally as possible. We are committed to continuously improving our service to the public.
The search will take place on the street unless we ask you to remove more than your outer clothing, or anything you wear for religious reasons, when you will be taken somewhere out of public view. In this case, the officer who searches you must be the same gender as you.
The officer can also search your vehicle. If you're carrying something illegal, such as a weapon, or the police believe you've committed a crime, you may be arrested.
If no crime has been committed and there is no reason to detain your further, your details will be recorded for monitoring purposes and you will be allowed to go.
The officer who stops and searches you must provide you with certain information, including:
If you are in a public place, you only have to take off your coat or jacket and your gloves, unless you have been stopped in relation to terrorism or in some circumstances where the officer believes you are using the clothing to conceal your identity. You may be asked to turn out your pockets and show the officer the contents of your bag.
We know that being searched is an inconvenience, and that you're probably in a hurry to get where you're going. We should make the search as brief as possible but in the interest of public safety we have to be thorough.
Remember: being searched does not mean you are under arrest or have done something wrong. Please try to be patient and stay calm - don't be afraid to speak to the officer if you have questions or you think your rights are being infringed.
We can legally stop any vehicle at any time and you may be asked to show your driving documents, such as your driver's licence.
This is not a 'stop and search' unless we suspect criminal activity and then we can use our stop and search powers.
If you've been stopped and searched and you'd like to make a formal complaint to Wiltshire Police please visit our complaints section.
You also have the option to email Wiltshire and Swindon's Police and Crime Commissioner if you have a general query about the stop and search policy itself or your experience.
You can also get advice from: