Police - stop & search

The police are given special powers and duties that allow them to prevent and investigate crime. They have the right to stop and speak to an individual when they have a good reason to do so. Various powers exist under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, anti terrorism legislation and other laws. Special powers are given to local police chiefs that allow specific powers to be used for a given period of time in a particular area. 

The laws are complex and wide ranging. However, before a police officer decides to stop and search an individual - in most cases that officer must have a reasonable ground to suspect the individual has or may be about to do something wrong or may be in possession of something illegal such as stolen property, items that be used for commit theft, weapons or illegal substances. 

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Special orders

When special local orders have been put in place, the police have extended powers that allow them to randomly search any individual in a particular area for a limited amount of time.

When stopped and questioned by the police in a public place, it is important to try to balance co-operation whilst not saying too much that could be later used against you. If a police officer forms the view that a crime has been detected following a stop and search, questions about that matter should be conducted at a police station where any interview can be recorded and legal advice is available.

In some cases, individuals or groups feel they are harassed by the police. We also have a specialist team of solicitors that deal with complaints against the police and may be able to assist you, call us on 0203 816 1098.

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It is our business to deliver legal services that work for our clients, you can trust our specialists to take care of things on your behalf. Over the years our regulatory and criminal justice team has been recognised by industry awards and accredited for their excellence.

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As an award-winning top 150 law firm, with over 450 staff based in offices across the country, you're never far from the advice you need.