East Brent Community Portal

Police Stop & Search. Know Your Rights


Making sure you know and understand your rights when being stopped and searched is an important duty for me as Police and Crime Commissioner.

I understand that being stopped and searched by police officers can be inconvenient or embarrassing but it’s a valuable policing tool which helps to keep our communities safe.

Sue Mountstevens

Polica and Crime Commissioner.



Key facts of stop and search

you must be treated fairly;

you should be told why you are being searched;

you do not have to give any personal information unless you have been arrested;

stop and search is not an arrest – you won’t get a criminal record;

you can ask for a copy of the stop and search record within 3 months of the search, to be collected by you at a police station;

you have the right to complain to us.


Stop and Search – Know your Rights

You or the vehicle you are in can be stopped and searched if an officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that you are carrying:

drugs, weapons or stolen property; or

items which could be used to commit a crime. Police officers can stop and search you within a specific area without any reasonable grounds if it is believed that:

serious violence could take place; or

offensive weapons are being carried or have been used.

The police officer should explain:

why you are being stopped and searched;

what the police officer is looking for;

the law under which you are being searched; and

 your right to a receipt.

You should always be given the name (except for terrorism searches), identity number and station of the police officer searching you.

You should always be treated fairly and with respect. If you feel this has not happened then you can complain.

You can also complain if you believe you were treated less favourably because of your race, age, sexual orientation, gender, gender reassignment, disability, religion or belief. It will help if you keep the receipt that the police officer gave you.

To find out more information about your rights when being stopped and searched log on to www.avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk


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