Stop and Search

Information on your rights if you are stopped and searched

UK Police Service Portal - More information can be found here at the Police.UK website inlcuding an overview of Cleveland Police performance.

PPEB Action Plan May 2016



Find your sector to see the Stop and Search map.


Stop and Search

In Cleveland Police only a Police Officer has authority to utilise Stop and Search powers.

 A 'stop and search' is when an officer stops you and uses powers, provided by legislation, to search you.

The officer must tell you:

Their name or warrant card number
The station they work at
The grounds for which you have been searched
What powers they are using under legislation
What they are searching for

They must complete the record of search as soon as practicable.

If you have been subject of a stop and search you are entitled to get a copy of the search record from a police station within three months of the search.

The officer must record:

• Your name or a description if you refuse to provide your name. The officer will ask you for your name, address and date of birth. You do not have to give these details unless you are being arrested or reported for an offence
• How you describe your ethnic background
• The names and/or numbers of the officers carrying out the search
• When and where you were stopped and searched
• Why you were stopped and searched (the grounds for the search)
• What the officer was looking for and anything they found
• The outcome of the search e.g. arrest

You can be stopped and searched where an officer believes that you are carrying:
• Drugs, weapons or stolen property
• Items which could be used to commit a crime or an act of terrorism
• Items used to cause criminal damage

The officer can search your pockets and clothing.

The officer can ask you to take off outer clothing e.g. coat or jacket but this should be done somewhere out of public view.
You can ask that an officer of the same sex as you carries out the search.

Being searched does not mean that you are being arrested.

For matters relating to searches of persons who have a disability, are transgendered, wearing religious head gear or who are non English speakers please refer to our Stop and Search policy.

When you have been searched you will be issued with our Stop and Search Z card which provides you with details of the search record and how you can complain through our 101 number, the IPCC, Citizen’s advice, in any police station or on our complaints page. Details of which are featured on the card.

If you would like a copy of your search you can attend any police station within three months of the search and request one. The search reference number will be provided on the Stop and Search card provided by the officer. If you do not have this reference number you can still obtain a copy with proof of ID. Please refer to our Stop and Search policy for further details.

Cleveland Police have signed up to the Home Office’s Best use of Stop and Search Scheme (BUSSS). The aim of the scheme is to improve transparency in the use of stop and search powers, to enhance their effectiveness and to improve public confidence.  Further details of the BUSSS can be obtained from the Home Office’s Best use of Stop and Search Scheme (BUSSS).