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Revised PACE Code A (Stop and Search)

Guidance has been published on the revised Code A for Stop and Search. The guidance can be read here.

The revised Code came into force on 19 March 2015.1


The revised Code A explains what can form “reasonable grounds for suspicion” in order to justify a search. It specifically prohibits an officer from taking into account the personal description or characteristics of a person (unless it matches a description given), prohibits an officer from basing a search on a “hunch”, and emphasises the need for officers to explain their reasons on the basis that an objective person could also have come to the same suspicion. It encourages officers to use intelligence or information as reasons upon which to base their suspicions.

Police supervisors should monitor how their officers are using these powers, and individual officers can be subject to formal performance or disciplinary proceedings.

  1. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (Codes of Practice) (Revision of Code A) Order 2015 (SI 2015/418)  (back)