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Stop and search record
Example of what your search record will look like

Frequently asked questions

Who can Stop and Search me?

A police officer or a police community support officer can stop you, however only a police officer has the power to search you in the City of London.

A police officer does not have to be in uniform but if they are not wearing uniform they must show you their warrant card prior to the search.

Where can I be searched?

In a public place anywhere, if the police believe you have committed or are about to commit a crime.

If you are in a public place, you only have to take off your coat or jacket and your gloves, unless you have been stopped in relation to terrorism.

If the officer asks you to take off more than this or anything you wear for religious reasons, such as a face scarf, veil or turban, they must take you somewhere out of public view.

What paperwork ​should I get if I am stopped and searched?

Officers are required to complete a written record of the search, generally you will have the option to receive a copy of this at the time of the search or you can request this at a later date from a police station.

This record will be available for you to request for up to 12 months after the stop and search.

If you want to take our feedback su​rvey​ or complain either about being searched or the way it was carried out, this record will help identify the circumstances.

Police may use the search record at a later date to contact you about anything that may have happened in that area around the time you were stopped.

Expectations yours see your rights and ours

Is this a criminal record?

The fact that you are stopped and searched does not mean that you have done anything wrong or that you are under arrest. The officer is required to complete a form but this does not amount to you having a police record.

What if I am in a vehicle?

A police officer can legally stop any vehicle at any time and ask to see the driver's documents such as licence and insurance. They can also ask where you are going and why. If the process ends there, this is considered a vehicle stop under the Road Traffic Act​.

If, however, a police officer then tells you to step out of the vehicle and it is then searched, this is a ‘vehicle stop and search' and all the information on your rights and about stop search applies.

Can I be stopped and searched more than once in a day?

There is nothing in law to prevent a person being stopped and searched more than once in any day, as long as the legal requirements are fulfilled on each occasion.

What if I refuse?

If you refuse to stop, officers can use reasonable force to stop you so they can conduct a search.

Depending on your behaviour your refusal could lead to you being arrested for obstructing a police officer.