The police are aware that being searched is inconvenient. Officers should make the search as brief as possible, but in the interest of public safety the search must be thorough.
You should be treated in a professional manner, with dignity and respect. Don’t be afraid to speak to the officer if you think your rights are being infringed.
Entitlement to a copy of the search record
PACE Code A requires an officer to make a record of the stop and search at the time. In the majority of cases you will be offered a copy of the record, or a receipt and details of how to obtain a copy if the record was made electronically. You can apply for a copy of the search within three months of the search taking place.
However, there are exceptional circumstances where this may not be possible such as an officer’s presence being urgently required elsewhere. In these circumstances the officer should record the details of the stop and search as soon as practicable.
Do I have to provide my personal details?
You will be asked for your name, address and date of birth but are not obliged to provide this information to the officer unless you are being reported for an offence, in which case failure to provide this information could lead to you being arrested.
All individuals are asked to define their ethnicity by choosing from a list of national census categories. You can decline to provide this information but the officer will make their own selection as it is a legal requirement to record such information. The ethnicity question helps ensure the police are using their powers fairly.
Does this mean I have a police record?
Being subject to a stop and search does not mean you have a police record. However, the officer is required to make a record of the search to ensure use of stop and search powers are monitored and that you are able to have a copy of the stop and search form.