What is Stop and Search?Stop and Search is when a police officer stops someone or a vehicle and carries out a search.
Stop and Search powersStop and Search can be carried out under the:
- Misuse of Drugs Act 1971
- Firearms Act 1968
- Terrorism Act 2000
- Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
- S. 1 Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984
A person or vehicle can be detained for the purpose of a search
Section 1 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984A police officer (or designated person) can search people and vehicles if there are reasonable grounds for suspecting they will find:
- Stolen goods
- An offensive weapon / blade or pointed article
Where can this power be used?This power can be used by an officer anywhere other than your home and your garden, or in the home or garden of someone who has given you permission to be there.
Reasonable GroundsReasonable grounds for suspicion rely on information or intelligence about someone or their behaviour and can never be supported on the basis of personal facts alone, such as:
The police officer should give:
- Their name and the police station where they work. They will show their warrant card if in plain clothes.
- The fact the person is being detained
- The legal power being exercised
- The object of the search
- The grounds for the search
- A record of the search and entitlement to a copy
An application can be made for a copy of the record up to three months after the search is carried out.
Conduct of the SearchEfforts are made to reduce the embarrassment and inconvenience when a search is carried out. Searches must be carried out with courtesy and respect.
Reasonable force is only used when every effort has been made to conduct the search with someone’s consent.
An officer has no power to remove any items of clothing in public other than an outer coat, jacket and gloves.