Your Stop & Search Rights

Stop and Account or Stop and Question is when a police officer stops you and asks such things as what you are doing, why you are in an area and/or where you are going.

You do not have to answer any questions the police officer asks you unless he/she has reason to believe you have been involved in criminal activity.

Stop and search is when a police officer detains you and then searches you because they suspect you are in possession of an illegal article.

Your vehicle can be stopped by an officer at any time and you (the driver) may be asked to show your driving documents.

Before they search you

They must tell you their name and what station they are from.

They must tell you why they are stopping you and what they expect to find.

During the search

A police officer can ask you to take off your coat, jacket or gloves.

If the officer wants to remove more than a jacket and gloves they must be the same sex as you.

If they ask you to take off other clothes and anything you are wearing for religous reasons - e.g. a veil or turban, they must take you somewhere out of public view.

They must carry out the search in proportion to what they are looking for. For example, if they were just looking for a stolen wide screen TV they would not need to strip search you.

After the search

They must offer you a Stop & Search slip, except for in mitigating circumstances. For example, if there was a riot happening, or if they had to urgently rush to the scene of the crime.

Your stop and search slip is a recorded document of the event. If you want to make a complaint your slip can act as evidence.

Upload your feedback through the Stop & Search App to help in holding the Police Accountable, changing negative Police behaviour and rewarding good practice.