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Stop and Search

The police can stop and question or search children but there are strict rules the police must follow.

Stop and Account

A police officer may stop someone and ask them:

  • what they’re doing?
  • why they’re in an area and/or where they’re going?

However, the person doesn’t have to answer any questions the police officer asks them. This is called stop and account.

Stop and Search

A police officer has powers to stop and search someone if they have ‘reasonable grounds’ to suspect they’re carrying:

  • illegal drugs
  • a weapon
  • stolen property
  • something which could be used to commit a crime, eg a crowbar

The police should have good reasons for the search.

Before the search the police officer must tell the person the intend to search:

  • their name and police station
  • what they expect to find, eg drugs
  • the reason they want to search you
  • why they are legally allowed to search you

The police must make a record of the search and give the person search a copy if this isn’t possible at the time, they must explain how to get a copy.

Watch our video about stop and search here.