What will happen?
The police have the power to stop and search to protect members of the community.
We know being stop and searched can be a scary or annoying process but remember it is an important tool the police have to keep us safe.
Remember, stay calm and polite and if you are in doubt of anything that is happening, ask questions.
Removing clothing: police powers
In a public place a police officer can ask you to take off your coat, jacket or gloves.
The police can ask you to take off other clothes including anything you’re wearing for religious reasons – eg a veil or turban. If they do, they must take you somewhere private [out of public view].
If the officer wants to remove more than a jacket and gloves they must be the same sex as you.
What you can expect?
Before you’re searched the police officer must tell you:
If the police are not in uniform they must show you their warrant cards / ID; Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) must be in uniform.
If you are stopped you should record the details of the officers and what happened:
What can I do if I am unhappy about being Stop and searched?
If you were not happy with why you were stopped and searched or if you were not happy with the way in which you were treated during being stopped and searched you can make a complaint.
To do this go to the contact us section of this website and follow ‘how to make a complaint’. If you don’t want to make an official complaint but want to give feedback (good or bad) on being stopped and searched you can email: stopsearch
This email will be seen by the senior officer reviewing stop and search for the local police and be given to the independent scrutiny group to review.
If I am Stop and searched will this show up on as a criminal record?
Being stopped and searched is not the same as being arrested and is not a criminal record, nor something which you need to tell an employer or anyone else about unless you want to. While a record of the search is kept that is not a criminal record and your details are not put on the local or national police systems as any sort of suspect or criminal.