Can I be asked to remove a hat/scarf/hijab/cap which is worn for religious reasons?

A police officer cannot order the removal of a head or face covering except where there is reason to believe that you are wearing the item for the purpose of disguising your identity.

However, if the removal of the item is required for police to properly conduct the search, the officer should permit the item to be removed out of public view. Where practicable, the item should be removed in the presence of an officer of the same sex as you and out of sight of anyone of the opposite sex.

Where can Police carry out a search?

The search must take place at or near to where you were stopped, unless moving you would protect your privacy.

Police are allowed to enter premises, including school buildings, to search the area and any person on those premises for any bladed or pointed article or offensive weapon.  A warrant issued also allows police to search premises for drugs or documents.

Do my parents have to be there when the Police search me?

You can be stopped and searched without your parents being present or another adult.

The police are not required to tell parents or carers that a search of their child has taken place.

What must the Police tell me before carrying out a search?

The Police must tell you:
• That you are being detained for the purposes of a search
• Their name or service number (unless the search relates to terrorism)
• The station they work at
• Reason for the search
• Grounds for suspicion, if applicable
• What law they are using to stop and search you
• What they are looking for
• That you must wait to be searched
• That you have a right to get a form giving details of the stop and search.
• The police officer will give you a reference number which you can quote to ask for a copy from a police station. You can do this at any time within the next 12months.

How long should a Police search take?

There is no set time as to how long it should take but the police must make sure the time taken is kept to a minimum. You must stay for the full length of the search.