Police Powers of Stop and Search (Code A)
The main piece of legislation that deals with the powers to stop and search is the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE).
Section 1 of PACE states that police have the power to stop and search a person in public if they have reasonable suspicion to believe that they person has possession of...
- Prohibited articles
- Stolen goods
- Articles made or adapted for the intention of burglary
- Prohibited fireworks (added by the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005)
Many statutes give the police power to stop and search...
-Misuse of drugs act 1971 (search for drugs)
-Terrorism act 2000 (headgear and shoes removed)
-Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (senior officer allows stop and search in an area for 24 hours)
The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 has 8 Codes…
Code A- Powers of stop and search
Code B- Powers of searching and seizing of property and premises
Code C- Detention, treatment and questioning of suspects
Code D- Identification of persons by officers
Code E- Audio recordings of police interviews
Code F- Visual recordings of police interviews
Code G- Powers of arrest
Code H-Detention, treatment and questioning of suspects arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000
Code of practice A sets outs guidance for police on reasonable suspicion and states if cannot be based on personal appearance or criminal records. However criminal record can be taken into account providing there are other reasons to suspect.
Procedure for stop and search
The officer must state their name, station and reason for stopping the person. Only certain clothing can be removed in public (outer coat, jacket and gloves). There's no such thing as a voluntary search, there must be reasoning. A written report is required for every stop and search and a copy must be given to the suspect.
A02 Discussion points
The balance between individual rights and the need to combat crime is often used as a question.
-It is important to be able to ask people to remove items that may conceal identity or help them avoid detection; this is illustrated by the failed London bomber escaped detection with a burka
-Searching for prohibited items does not prevent crime, in Tottenham stop and search increase but so did the burglary rate
-Stop and search has increased since 1986 yet on 10-13% of those who are stopped are arrested
-Many do not know their rights which make them ineffective
-Section 60 of the CJPO act is misused as it is intended for riots but it used more predominantly with street robberies
Powers of Arrest (Code G)
The powers of the Police are…