Stop and Search

You may have been stopped by the Police, which is frustrating if you haven’t done anything. However, a police officer is allowed to stop and search you if they think you are carrying drugs, a knife or other weapon, or stolen property.

If you are stopped by the police: stay calm. If you’ve done nothing wrong, and answer their questions politely, you’ll be fine. But if you get angry or you’re rude, you’ll only make things worse.

  • Before you are searched they should tell you why they stopped you, what they are looking for, their name and the name of the station they work at. They should also explain your rights and give you a form.
  • If you are stopped by a police community support officer, they must be in uniform. A police officer does not have to be in uniform, but they must show you their identity card.
  • You can ask that the officer who searches you is the same sex as you.
  • They can ask you to take off anything you wear for
  • religious reasons, such as a face scarf or a turban.

Staying calm when you are stopped can be difficult, but if you know what the Police are and aren’t allowed to do, and assert your rights, then you can avoid the situation getting out of control.


If you have a complaint about the way you have been treated then you should report the incident. You can do this through a new app devised by y-stop. Click here to visit the y-stop page and download the app.

Useful websites

For up-to-date information on Police SAS powers, visit the gov.uk site

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