1. When Can I Be Stopped?

Powers to stop

The police might decide to stop you at any time and ask you questions, such as

  • What are you doing?
  • Why are you in this area?
  • Where are you heading and where have you been?

You do not have to answer any of these questions. We suggest you don’t, or that you respond with “No Comment”.

This is known as a Stop and Account.


COVID-19 has lead to changes in policing & protest law which may affect the information in this guide. Please also read our guide to Coronavirus & Protest Law.

No Personal Details!

You are not required to give your personal details under any Stop and Search power.

Police forces are only required to record 7 items of information collected during a Stop and Search:

  1. Ethnicity
  2. Grounds for search
  3. Object of search
  4. Identity of police officer
  5. Date
  6. Time
  7. Place

You do not need to assist them by providing any information. We suggest you stay silent.