Stop and Search
Stop and search powers allow the police to combat street crime and anti-social behaviour, and prevent more serious crimes occurring.
What happens if I'm stopped and/or searched by the police?
If you are stopped by a Police Officer or Police Community Support Officer the officer may decide to search you but only if they have a good reason to believe that you are carrying something that you shouldn't be, for instance drugs, stolen property etc. or they have been authorised by a senior officer to search people for a specific purpose.
If the search takes place on the street and the officer asks you to remove more than your coat and gloves, or to remove anything you wear for religious reasons, they must take you somewhere out of public view.
The officer can also search your vehicle, even if you aren't present, but must leave a notice to say what they've done.
If you're carrying something illegal, such as a weapon, or the officer believes you've committed a crime, you may be arrested.
If they don't find anything, your details will be recorded for monitoring purposes, and you'll be allowed to go.
What information will I need to provide?
You don't have to give your name, address or date of birth to the officer if you're stopped and/or searched unless you're being reported for an offence.
However, it's advisable that you describe your ethnic origin. It's important that you give this information, as this is how we monitor for any disproportionality in the use of stop and search powers.
The officer will fill out a form if you are searched outlining the reason for searching you, the outcome of the search and their name, and give you a copy.
For more information or for a copy of this information in other languages click on the link below to the Association of Police Authorities web-site: -