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Police

If you are stopped and searched it will be helpful to know your rights, understanding the process can help reduce the stress of the situation. Follow the links given to find out more.

What is a 'Stop' and what is a 'Stop and Search'?

National recording requirement

Date created: 27/09/2007
In accordance with a national legal requirement, Northumbria Police has recorded all police 'stops' since April 1, 2005.

When you are stopped

When you are stopped and asked to account for your actions, the police officer should record the following:

  • Your name or a description of you
  • Details of your ethnic identity
  • Reason you were stopped
  • When and where you were stopped
  • The outcome of the stop
  • Details of the officer who stopped you

You will be entitled to a copy of this record.

Before using any search power, the officer must take reasonable steps to inform you of:

  • Their name (except for terrorism searches or if the officer reasonably believes that giving his or her name might put him or her in danger) and the police station they are from
  • The purpose of the search
  • The legal power they are exercising
  • The grounds or authorisation for the search
  • That you are entitled to a record of the stop and search now unless wholly impracticable

The officer should then record on a form the following details (unless there are exceptional circumstances):

  • Your name or a description of you
  • Details of your ethnic identity
  • The purpose of the search
  • The legal power used
  • The grounds or authorisation for the search
  • When and where you were stopped and searched
  • The outcome of the stop and search
  • Details of the officer who stopped and searched you

You will be entitled to a copy of this record at the time of the stop and search unless there are exceptional circumstances that would make it wholly impracticable e.g. situations involving public disorder or when the officer's presence is urgently required elsewhere.

A copy of the record will be kept at a police station local to the area where you were stopped and searched for twelve months.

How to complain

Date created: 27/09/2007
The police should treat you fairly and with respect. You can complain if you are unhappy with the way you were treated.
You can make a complaint to:

  • Your nearest police station (See link to How do I contact my local police station?)
  • Northumbria Police Authority (see link at the bottom of the page)
  • The Citizens Advice Bureau (see link at the bottom of the page)
  • The Race Equality Council (see link at the bottom of the page)
  • A solicitor (see link to the Law Society - find a solicitor website)
  • The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) (see link at the bottom of the page).

Or you can use our 'Quality of service' form to send a complaint to the Northumbria Police Professional Standards department.

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Roweena Russell, E: roweena@hiwecanhelp.com , T: 079 57 57 6305
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