What you can be searched for depends on what search power you have been stopped under.
The police often use a piece of law known as Section 1 of PACE (Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984).
Using this power, you can be searched for the following item, provided that there is reasonable individual suspicion:
- articles for burglary/theft
- stolen goods
- offensive weapons
- bladed articles
- items that may be used to commit criminal damage
There are other specific laws that allow an officer to search you. They include the power to search for drugs or explosives, and along with Section 1 PACE, always require reasonable suspicion.
NB. Whilst not being a search power, if you’re the driver of a vehicle that is being searched or has been involved in a road traffic incident, the police have a specific power to demand your name and address.