Police Powers: Stop and Search

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  • Created by: val16
  • Created on: 03-03-16 20:06

Police Powers of Stop and Search

  • Stop and Search - PACE Code A 

- s1 PACE 1984

-This gives the Police the right to stop and search people if they are in a "public place"

-"Public Place" does not just mean the street, but can include many other areas where members of the public may be present such as car parks.

-Under PACE, a person can only be stopped and searched if the Police Officer has reasonable grounds for suspecting the individual is in possession of, or their vehicle contains, stolen goods or prohibited articles.

-Prohibited Articles are things such as weapons - including sharpened objects and items that could be used to commit a Criminal Offence - ie. burglary or criminal damage.

  • Police Officer's Duty to Give their Name and Station...

-Osman v DPP (1999)

-Mr Osman was stopped and searched by two Police Officers who did not give their names to him. The Queen's Bench Division of the High Court ruled that this made the search unlawful:

-Osman could not be convicted of assaulting the officers...

-...also if no reason for the search is given, it may also be unlawful...

  • Searches

-s2(9) PACE

-For searches in public, the police can only request the suspect removes their outer coat, jacket and gloves...

-The Police Officer must also make a written report as soon as possible after the search...

  • PACE Code A

-Paragraph 2.2 PACE Code A

-"Reasonable suspicion can never be supported on the basis of personal factors alone without reliable supporting intelligence or information or some specific behaviour by the person concerned. For example a person's age, race, appearance or the fact that the person is known to have a previous conviction, cannot be used alone, or in a combination with each other as a reason for searching that person."

-"Reasonable suspicion cannot be based on generalisations or stereotypical images of certain groups or categories of people as more likely to be involved in criminal activity."

- As PACE 2.2 states, reasonable suspicion can be established from someone's behaviour...

  • However...

-There are certain occasions whereby appearance can be sufficient, such as where there is intelligence that suggests


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