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Stop and search

Stop and Search

About stop and search

The purpose of stop and search is to help police officers prevent and detect crime, and avoid unnecessary arrests in circumstances where a search might eliminate an officer's suspicions. Stop and search is an important policing power and method of engaging with people that enables us to maintain order and create the conditions that allow the public to go about their daily business in safety.

The police have the legal right to stop members of the public and search them for a variety of reasons. We use these powers to allow us to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour, and to prevent more serious crimes occurring.

As part of our efforts to continuously improve services to our communities, we have changed our stop and search policy and practice to make it more effective and increase public confidence.

The new process is less bureaucratic and much quicker to complete for officers. Instead of completing a paper form while the stop and search takes place, officers will radio details to the Force Control Room, who will log them directly onto force systems. Subjects of stop and search will then be given a unique reference number so that they can later obtain a copy of the stop and search record if they desire.