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Without the power of being able to stop and search individuals we suspect of having participated in or are about to commit a crime, we would be faced with a much tougher challenge on our streets.
Stop and search is never used lightly and police officers will only exercise their legal right to stop members of the public and search them when they genuinely suspect that doing so will further their investigations into criminal activity – whether that means looking for weapons, drugs or stolen property.
Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 is different to normal stop and search as it gives police the right to search people without reasonable grounds. This can only happen in a defined area at a specific time when a senior officer believes there is a possibility of serious violence, or weapons are involved.