2. When Can I Be Searched?

Powers to search

The law says that you can only be searched if a police officer has a reasonable belief to suspect that you may be carrying something illegal or something that can be used to to commit an offence and you are likely to do so.

This forms the grounds of the search.

There are two exceptions to this rule, which are known as blanket search powers:

  1. If a section 60 search power has been granted (Criminal Justice Act).
  2. If a section 47A search power has been granted (Terrorism Act).


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.