The police have the power to ‘Stop and Search’ members of the community only where there are reasonable grounds to do so. There are several laws which allow officers to stop a member of the public and search them – for example, if the search is related to the illegal possession of offensive weapons, controlled drugs, stolen property, or items which could be used to commit crime.

The grounds the police officer must have should be based on facts, information or intelligence or could be because of the way an individual is behaving. There are times however when police officers can search anyone within a certain area, for example:-

  • Where a terrorist threat has been identified. (Section 44 Terrorism Act 2000)
  • Where there is evidence that serious violence has or may take place. (Section 60 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994). In these circumstances, the use of Section 60 Stop and Search Powers will be authorised by a Chief Officer and only used when serious violence is anticipated. It cannot be used if there ‘may’ be violence, it has to be a credible threat of actual violence occurring.

There are many restrictions placed on how the police use the power of Stop and Search. These act as a safeguard – to ensure that Stop and Search is used in a fair and effective manner and that we don’t discriminate against or target certain elements of the community.

On every occasion that Stop and Search powers are used, a record is made and there are processes in place to ensure that officers exercise their powers in a non-discriminatory way.

Details around the time, date and location of each stop search are recorded and monitored in order for us to better understand where and when we are using the powers.

Dyfed Powys Police is committed to ensuring the effective and fair use of stop and search powers, in accordance with the Home Office Best Use of Stop and Search scheme.

Processes have been developed to support the effective monitoring and scrutiny of stop and search activity. Information and data on stop and search activity is collated and reviewed by managers, to ensure the effective and legitimate use of this power.

This information is also shared with our Independent Advisory Group, made up of members of the community. They review and provide feedback on any issues identified. Any such matters are referred to senior police managers for consideration and any further action that may be considered appropriate and this is reported back to the Independent Advisory Group, ensuring transparency and accountability.

Dyfed Powys Police publish data on stop and search activity. This information may be accessed via www.police.uk.

Dyfed Powys Police have one of the highest outcome rates for stop and search activity whereby in more cases than not, the object searched for is found. Further developments will be made to IT systems to provide greater detail relating to what action is taken following a search where an object is found, in line with Home Office requirements for publication in the near future.

If you have a complaint about Stop and Search please let us know. There are a number of ways you can get in touch.  Visit our 'Complaints and Feedback' for more information.

Each complaint received in relation to Stop and Search is subject to a review with oversight reports sent to the Chief Officer lead for Stop and Search. Further to this, details of the review for each complaint and information relating to any actions taken by the police in response to such complaints is also shared with the force Independent Advisory Group, which is an independent group made up of members from the community who have responsibility for scrutinising the use of stop and search.

We have a leaflet explaining ‘Stop and Account’ and ‘Stop and Search’.  It provides a summary of your rights if you are stopped, or stopped and searched.  Click here to download it.