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Stop and Search
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Posts: 180
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #1
17-01-2008 04:42 PM

(picking up on the comments in Letter from Police thread on Stop-and-Search at FH station on 17 Jan and moving since it's probably another topic entirely)

MrsR Wrote:
Sadly I found out that we were part of a "stop and search" operation!It was sold to us as a we are here to discourage terrorism, they gave us an information sheet then the next thing they were taking our details and searching our bags. Actually I am not too happy about it in hindsight.

Hmmm. I had a quick look at the Home Office website, and there are clear guidelines for these sorts of things. Unless you looked dodgy, or the police were acting on some sort of specific information, according to these guidelines, they were probably out of order in (a) stopping you in the train station and not in the street, and (b)looking in your bag.

Looking at the Met's own website, they seem to take a somewhat more robust interpretation: police officers and PCSO's " not need reasonable suspicion to [stop and search you]. It is under this law that police conduct random searches in train and tube stations." On this basis, they were ok on everything they did.

Underpinning all of this there seems to be a specific terrorist threat required to legitimise the search (rather than a general "something might happen somewhere at some time") - though the Met's website is not very clear (perhaps contradicting itself on this point). If I had the time I might try to look through the (3) relevant acts and accompanying guidance to police.

Have to admit that much as I don't like the idea of being summarily stopped, I wouldn't recommend arguing with the constable who stops you. But that might just be my Northern Irish upbringing ("whatever you say, say nothing") kicking in.

Interested to hear what others think about this, and whether stop and search is used appropriately and makes everyone feel any safer.

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Posts: 58
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #2
17-01-2008 06:55 PM

Mrs R - there are rules about 'stop and search' that it doesn't sound like the police followed in your case. They must provide you with certain information and paperwork about why they have stopped you etc, and according to Liberty they must have reasonable suspicion. The recent anti-terror legislation widened their powers of stop and search.

Have a look at the following link from the Met's website;


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Posts: 40
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #3
17-01-2008 07:23 PM

Thanks Guys,

They stopped us as we approached the underpass (we were going to platform 1). They gave a friendly blurb about "we are here to discourage terrorist activity" and gave me a sheet of information on the anti terrorist act. Apparently they want to deter people who might be thinking about carrying a bomb around in their bag, and if the potential bomber thinks there is a chance of stop and search he wont carry a bomb. It didn't dawn on me that it was stop and search, it was more can we take a few details, I said, yes sure. Then she wrote down my description, name dob and looked in my bag - to give the WPC her due she wasn't interested in looking in my bag. I feel pretty niave I just wasn't expecting that. A guy at my work said he was stopped before and he fits "the profile" male, between 25 - 40 and carrying a backpack. Probably my husband fits the bill - plus he's asian! So I was stopped with him. I am not chuffed I don't want my details on police records.

Be warned, if they stop you in a friendly can we have a few moments style, you are being searched and your details noted - plus you might miss your train!

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Posts: 384
Joined: May 2004
Post: #4
18-01-2008 12:11 AM

Is this similar to scratch and sniff or have I missed the point.

BD - always on the ball

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Posts: 810
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #5
18-01-2008 01:42 AM

Last summer there were a number of stop and search operations on the Perry Vale side of the pedestrian underpass during the day.
You assume at the time that they had good specific reasons, but on reflection they too were probably conducted under the umbrella of the prevention of terrorism law.

Maybe these incidents are just training exercises for when the 'optional' ID cards come in and these challenges become everyday occurrences. Your papers sir.

Meanwhile the lorries of cannabis from the factories are waved on through.

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Posts: 1,796
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #6
19-01-2008 10:37 PM

Is this similar to scratch and sniff or have I missed the point.

BD, next time you are Stopped and Searched, respond with a little Scratch and Sniff, and then post to tell us what happened next.

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