English Legal System - Police Powers: Stop and Search.

A word document which breifly explains Police stop and search powers. Useful for revision! Based on information for the OCR English Legal System exam.

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  • Created by: Scott
  • Created on: 23-05-11 22:20
Preview of English Legal System - Police Powers: Stop and Search.

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Police Powers Stop and Search
"Vehicle"- Vessels, aircraft and hovercraft.
"Public place"- access on payment (e.g. museum/football ground), implied permission (e.g.
shopping centre) or place of ready access (e.g. fields). *NOT A DWELLING OR HOUSE*
"Prohibited Items"- Weapons, anything that may be used in a theft, burglary or deception
offence, articles that may be used for criminal damage (e.g. tools, axe, spray paint, fake ID).
Police can stop and search in:
Land near a house
Police must have reasonable grounds for suspicion:
Supporting evidence.
Information on suspect behaviour.
NOT: Race, age, appearance, previous convictions, group with.
The stop must be justifiable and a written record must be made at the time or as soon as possible.
Even if only a stop takes place.
Officer must `GO WISELY'
Grounds for suspicion
Object of search
Warrant number
Identity of searching officer
Station officer is from
Entitlement to search from
Legal power acting under
You must inform the suspect they have been stopped
Conduct of Search:
Police must minimise embarrassment.
Police may use reasonable force.
Search must be at or close to the place detained.
An officer not in uniform cannot stop and search vehicles.
Removal of Clothing (Section 2, PACE 1984)
If in public only outer clothing may be removed (gloves and jacket).
If a more thorough search is necessary it must be done in private by a same sex officer.
Other stop and search powers:
Sporting Events Act 1985: Prevent alcohol related hooliganism. Can stop and search vehicles on way to
sporting events.
Stop and search in anticipation of violence (S6 CJPO Act 1994): Super Intendant may authorise stop and
search for uniformed officers in an area for 24hrs. No need for suspicion.
Prevention of Terrorism Act 1989/Terrorism Act 2000: Assistant Chief Constable may authorise stop and
search for 28 days with no reasonable suspicion.
Misuse of Drugs Act 1971: Search for controlled substances.
Voluntary searches: Since 2004, only take place at an event (e.g. festival).


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