Stop and search powers
Statutory powers that a police officer may use to stop and search someone to prevent and detect crime. They can be used to avoid unnecessary arrest in circumstances where a quick search might confirm or eliminate an officer’s suspicions. Use of these powers is lawful if an officer has reasonable grounds for suspicion that a person is in possession of a stolen or prohibited item, or controlled drugs, or if a person is in an area where serious violence is anticipated.
There are several powers of search but the vast majority of powers used are included in:
- section 1, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984;
- section 23, Misuse of Drugs Act 1971; and
- section 60, Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.