New Stop and Search code of practice

Date: 24th January 2017
Category: Non-discrimination

The principles determining when police can use 'stop and search' powers have been set out in a code of practice. Together welcomes the specific guidelines for children and young people.

The code acknowledges that children and young people may require additional support to help them comprehend and participate in the search process, as well as the need for age-appropriate language.

The new code comes shortly after the welcome decision in November 2016 not to create a new police power to search children for alcohol.

Promoting public safety and preventing and detecting crime are recognised as the main aims of stop and search in the code, which will come into force in May, if approved by Parliament.
Recognising that being stopped and searched by police is a significant intrusion into liberty and privacy, the code sets out that use of powers must be necessary, proportionate and in accordance with the law.

The Government has worked with an Advisory Group of experts, led by John Scott QC, to draft the code, and its creation received widespread support from a public consultation.

Specific guidance on stop and search of children and vulnerable adults was added to the code after feedback from the public.