Police Powers

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Stop and Search

  • Power - S1 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE)
  • Guidelines - Code of practice A
  • Right to stop and search in a public place if they have reasonable suspicion that the person is in possession of stolen goods or prohibited articles.
  • Code A - Reasonable suspicion cannot be about clothes, ethnicity, hairstyle, dress etc.
  • Must give name, station, reason for search and show ID if not in uniform.
  • Can only ask to remove coat, jacket and gloves when in public view.
  • Other powers - Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, Terrorism Act 2000, Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (CJPOA)
  • If voluntary search - Officers must still act in accordance with Code A and PACE.
  • Osman - Officers didn't give names or station - Not assaulting officer in course of his duty.
  • Fennelley - Officers didn't give reason for search - Evidence found inadmissible.


  • Power to arrest without a warrant - S24 PACE amended by S110 and 111 Serious Organised Crime and Policing Act 2005 (SOCPA)
  • If the police have reasonable suspicion the suspect has committed, is committing, or is about to committ an offence.
  • Arrest must be necessary.
  • To gain name and address of suspect.


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