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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I was stopped and search by police and when i questioned the

Customer Question

I was stopped and search by police and when i questioned the acting officer he replied that i looked suspicious and sped away on my bike after seeing them(i was travelling in the opposite direction to the police and was going slightly faster than a casual pace) and the police vehicle turned around and told me to stop, i did so immediately and got off my cycle then the acting officer asked whether i had anything sharp to which i replied 'no' he then proceeded to search me without asking consent but i went along with it to avoid any hassle, consequently finding nothing. The acting officer then asked for my details and checked whether i had a criminal record. My first question; why was it necessary for him to check if i had a CR? (just to point out, i do not have any criminal convictions) The officer made me feel as if i was about to be arrested if i lied to him and also is he allowed to just search me without asking? And he didn't give me any record of the search such as paper work, are they allowed to do this? I felt completely humiliated as my local community watched on
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Remus2004 :

Hi

Remus2004 :

Thanks for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Remus2004 :

I do completely see why you are aggrieved about this but ultimately we are all hampered by the law.



I know this isn’t going to be the answer you want to hear, and it’s certainly not what I want to tell you. However, I wish to be completely honest with you, so I feel obligated to not give you false hope.

Remus2004 :

I'm afraid you are describing thing that are fairly standard in the course of any stop and search and officers are entitled to take these measures.

Remus2004 :

He is police officer so doesn't need consent to search to this level.

Remus2004 :

He was perfectly entitled to ask about your criminal background and check your answers.

Remus2004 :

Its fair to say that officers wouldn't do it for every roadside NIP but that doesn't mean that it was unlawful in this particular case.

Remus2004 :

Can you respond? I'm not sure whether you are seeing any of this?

Remus2004 :

Can you respond?

JACUSTOMER-rpuxl5i4- :

yes but doesn't he have to give me some sort of proof of search so i have a record of what happened?

Remus2004 :

I see you can.

Remus2004 :

No, there's no need for a body search record unless items are actually seized and then its noted on the custody record at the police station.

Remus2004 :

They need to make seizure documents but obviously that only arises if something is seized.

JACUSTOMER-rpuxl5i4- :

so any police officer can just search me whenever he/she wants and i don't have a say in it?

Remus2004 :

On your original point, you probably would have been arrested if you had given incorrect details for obstructing a police officer. It happens all the time.

Remus2004 :

Yes, he does need reasonable suspicion of an offence but clearly there was one here.

JACUSTOMER-rpuxl5i4- :

but why am i obliged to give my details?

Remus2004 :

Because he is a police officer and a person in authority who asked you to account for your movement.s

JACUSTOMER-rpuxl5i4- :

how was there reasonable suspicion? i didn't speed up when i saw them ?

Remus2004 :

No, but you accept speeding away and that is a crime.

Remus2004 :

I'm sorry and I do appreciate that sometimes police officers are rude and objectionable and some of them use their powers to bully others.

Remus2004 :

That doesn't make it unlawful I'm afraid.

JACUSTOMER-rpuxl5i4- :

No, i did not say that, i said i was travelling a slightly faster pace than a casual pace on a cycle and there was no deliberate change in my speed

JACUSTOMER-rpuxl5i4- :

i was going on a straight path, no changes in direction or speed

Remus2004 :

Its difficult to say why you were stopped from these facts then but they are probably saying you gave rise to suspicion in some way.

Remus2004 :

I'm really sorry but the fact that the officer was fairly aggressive does not mean his actions were unlawful.

JACUSTOMER-rpuxl5i4- :

but all they said was that i looked suspicious? and that i sped up when i saw them but this was not the case so the search was carried out on a false accusation

Remus2004 :

No, as I've said.

Remus2004 :

It was not a false allegation.

Remus2004 :

They only need the barest suspicion to stop and search a person under S1 PACE.

JACUSTOMER-rpuxl5i4- :

so i'm obliged to tell the truth but they aren't? yet they've taken an oath and still lied? I don't know what any of this pace rubbish is but what kind of suspicion did i cause to arise in them ? other than that i am a dark coloured youth? because i seriously see no other cause for suspicion

Remus2004 :

Yes, you are to a police officer. No they have not lied or taken an oath here.

Remus2004 :

I cannot really comment on the basis for the suspicion here. I haven't seen the officers notes or heard their account. Knowing officers they have likely covered that in some way or another as generally they do know they need to do that to bring themselves within PACE.

Remus2004 :

PACE was actually a huge improvement on the old law.

Remus2004 :

In the days before PACE people were arrested for no reason at all and went into police stations without coming out literally for weeks.

JACUSTOMER-rpuxl5i4- :

I mean the oath they took to do their job. But from the account i have given you, was there anything suspicious that i did?

JACUSTOMER-rpuxl5i4- :

excuse me, are you still here?

Remus2004 :

Sorry, I really cannot comment on what was in their mind at the time they stopped you.

Remus2004 :

I really don't think I can add more to this. Opting out.

JACUSTOMER-rpuxl5i4- :

really

JACUSTOMER-rpuxl5i4- :

well you were a great help

JACUSTOMER-rpuxl5i4- :

wouldn't be surprised if said you were police officer

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