Police Stop And Search Powers

Police stop and search powers are an important topic no matter who you are since it can happen to you at any time. What you don’t want to do is be caught off guard about what’s legal or not and your rights.

If you ever have questions on this topic or require legal advice or representation then it’s best to get in touch with our team at JD Solicitors right away so we can help.

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Why do the Police Stop & Search You?

There are some common reasons that police will stop and search you or search your car in the first place. They may stop to talk to you and engage with you for a variety of reasons whether it be to chat or to gather information regarding a case or incident. 

While the police should treat you fairly and be professional in every interaction, it’s not always the case. What starts out as general questioning or casual talk may lead to formal questioning, a stop and search situation, or even an arrest. A strip search will only be conducted if they believe you are hiding and carrying an illegal item under your clothing. It should be done out of the public eye.

Stop and search powers police

Police Stop & Search Powers

A police stop and search is when a police officer stops you and then proceeds to carry out a search of your vehicle, clothing, or of your belongings such as a backpack. It may happen when you’re driving or even walking. Police officers are the only people who can carry out a stop and search. While they don’t need to be in uniform, they do need to show you identification.

Here are some instances when a police officer can legally stop and search you with reasonable grounds:

  • A weapon or anything that can be used to commit a crime
  • Stolen property
  • Illegal drugs
  • If there is believed that serious violence may take place
  • You’re in a location that’s approved for random stop and searches

Here is what the police can do during a stop and search:

  • Request you to take off your jacket or coat and gloves
  • Place their hands inside your headgear, shoes, and socks
  • Ask you to empty your pockets
  • Apply reasonable force if you resist being searched 

Advice for Anyone Who is Stopped & Searched by Police

Keep in mind that you have rights during a stop and search or strip search by police. What you don’t want to do is run from the police, but instead to know what they and you can and can’t do. First, the police officer needs to identify themselves and provide the legal reason for the search. You do have the right to a written record of the search.

These are your rights to keep in mind during a stop and search by police:

  • You don’t have to provide your name and address
  • You aren’t required to answer any questions
  • You and others have the right to film the stop and search (unless it will be used for the purpose of terrorism)

JD Solicitors Can Help You

Do you believe you’re a victim of an unlawful police stop and search? Then you should contact the criminal defence lawyers at JD Solicitors immediately for legal advice and representation. We are highly skilled and experienced in this area and can assist you every step of the way.

Contact us today so we can learn about your police stop and search case and offer our legal advice about how you should proceed. 

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