9. Seizing an Item

If the police find an item on you that they suspect you may use to commit criminal damage, but isn’t necessarily illegal, then they may seize the item. The item remains yours and you have the right to collect it at a later date.

In order to make it possible to collect your item at a later date, without giving your details:

  • ask for a receipt containing a description of the item and ensure it contains a reference number
  • make a note of the police station the item is being taken to
  • make a note of the date / time, and officers number

The searching officer may suggest that they need your name and address in order to guarantee the item gets back to you. This is a tactic used in an attempt to get your name, and you do not need to respond.

The officer is responsible for ensuring that your property is well identified regardless of any information you give them.


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.