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Non-Emergency Enquiries: 101

How Should I React?

What to do if you are stopped by the police.

PC male and female officer walking outside down an alleyway daylightBe patient

The police are aware that being searched is an inconvenience, and that you're probably in a hurry to get where you're going. They should make the search as brief as possible. But in the interest of public safety they must also be thorough.

Be calm

  • Remember, you are not under arrest.
  • Don't refuse to be stopped and searched.
  • The process is not voluntary - the law gives police the authority to stop and search.
  • Officers do not need your permission to go through your belongings- if you refuse, you can be searched by force.
  • Try to stay calm and don't be afraid to speak to the officer if you think your rights are being infringed.