mobile menu button

Information and advice for young people in Suffolk


Stop and search

Home » Do you know about? » Stop and search Share page: Twitter Facebook

The police can stop and search people to find out if someone has carried out a crime. You should not be approached by a police officer or police community support officer (PCSO) just because of your age, colour, hairstyle or the way you dress. If you're stopped by the police it does not necessarily mean you are doing anything wrong.

Read - Suffolk Police stop and search frequently asked questions

Only a police officer can search you & before they do they must tell you:

  • their name
  • which police station they work at
  • what made them suspicious in the first place
  • the aim of the search
  • what they expect to find
  • If the officer is not in uniform he/she must show you their identity card.

If you are searched, the officer must write down on a form:

  • your name or your description
  • why you were searched
  • when and where you were searched
  • what the officer was looking for and whether anything was found
  • the name and number of the officer who searched you

The police do not have to make a record if they just stop you
If you are stopped the officers will ask you some simple questions such as your name, where you live and where you are going. Unless they are reporting you for a suspected crime, you don't have to give them these details, but it makes sense to co-operate.

If you are innocent you have nothing to fear. If you are being reported for an offence, you do have to provide these details and may be arrested if you refuse to give your details.

The police can usually only stop and search you in a public place. But if they suspect you have committed a serious crime, they can search you anywhere.

Need proof of age? We suggest the CitizenCard.

Have your say about stop and search

You are able to compliment or complain to Suffolk Police about your experience of a stop and search incident. More details about who to contact can be found on their website

Connect with us on the web