Stop and Search


If you are driving a police officer can stop you at any time and ask you to show your drivers licence, MOT or insurance documents.

If the police have good reason to suspect your car may contain stolen goods, drugs or something you could use to commit a crime, they could search your car, even if you are not there. However, the police must leave a notice saying what they have done. so, if they do not find anything to connect you to a crime, you can ask the police for compensation for any damage they have caused.


You will be asked to give your name, address and date of birth.

You do not have to provide any of this information, unless the police tell you they are reporting you for a crime. If this is the case, you could be arrested if you do not tell them.
#The police may also ask you for your ethnic background. This may be to check that police officers are not stopping and searching people because of their race or colour.


The police officer/s should tell you:

• their name and police station
• why they are searching you
• what they are looking for
• you have a right to obtain a record of the search

If an officer is not in uniform, s/he must show you his/her identity card.


If you are in a public place, the police can only ask you to take off your outer clothing - e.g, jacket, coat or gloves.

If an officer asks you to take off more than that, such as your shoes, socks or headgear, you must be taken somewhere private such as a police station. This does not mean you have been arrested.

If possible, it is advisable to get a friend to witness the search.


If you are searched, the police must write down on a form:

• Your name or a description of you.
• Why you are being searched.
• When and where you were searched.
• What they were looking for and if anything was found.
• The name and number of the officer who searched you.

The police do not have to make a record if they just stop you and do not search you.

If you feel you are being harassed in any way make sure you make a note of the officer’s number.

The police should normally give you a copy of what they have written down there and then unless this is not practical.

Otherwise, you can get a copy from the police station within 12 months.

What is Stop and Search?
Why me?
Where can I be searched?
Young people.
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At the police station
What to do if you are contacted by MI5
What to do when contacted by Special |Branch
(also known as Anti-Terrorist Branch
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