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Why Me?

PCSO Neil Williams 16301 High Angle ExposedBeing stopped by the police does not mean you are under arrest or have done anything wrong. In some cases, people are stopped as a part of a wide- ranging effort to catch criminals in a targeted public area.

A police officer must have a "reasonable grounds for suspicion" for stopping and searching you and they are required to tell you what that reason is.
 
There are, however, occasions when the police can search anyone in a certain area, for example when there is evidence that serious violence has taken place or will take place, (Powers under Section 60 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994). The officer should explain this to you and must be searching for items to be used in connection with violence.
 
You should not be stopped just because of your age, race, ethnic background, nationality, faith, the language you speak or because you have committed a crime in the past.
 
The police can stop and search you:

  • If they have reasonable grounds to suspect you're carrying a weapon, drugs or stolen property.
  • If there has been serious violence or disorder in the vicinity.
  • If they are looking for a suspect who fits your description.
  • As part of anti-terrorism efforts.