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Stop and Search


What is stop and search?

An officer can stop and search you if they have a genuine suspicion in their mind that items that could be used to commit crime or are evidence of an offence (such as stolen property or weapons) will be found on you. Their suspicion must seem reasonable to an independent observer.

Being stopped and searched doesn’t mean you’re under arrest or have necessarily done anything wrong. It doesn’t mean you will have a criminal record.

They must be able to explain what information or behaviour has caused them to be suspicious and stop and search you.

A fair and effective stop and search

  • The search is justified, lawful and stands up to public scrutiny
  • The officer has genuine and objectively reasonable suspicion they will find a prohibited article or item for use in crime
  • You understand why you have been searched and feel you have been treated with respect
  • The search was necessary and was the most proportionate method the police officer could use to establish whether you have such an item

You can find out more information on the definition of a fair and effective stop and search encounter by visiting the College of Policing website.

Your rights

If you are stopped and searched, you should be told:

  • Why you are being stopped and/or searched
  • The officer’s name and the station they are based at
  • What power they have used to stop you
  • You should be treated in a professional manner, with dignity and respect. 

If an officer needs to remove more than your jacket, outer coat or gloves, footwear or headgear, you will be taken somewhere out of public view. This could include a police vehicle or police station and, if the search involves the removal of more than footwear or headgear it will be done in the presence of an officer who is the same sex as you.

You don’t have to give the officer your personal details even if they ask for them. You will be offered a record of the search.

The law

An officer needs reasonable grounds to stop and search you. They should genuinely suspect you have an item in your possession. The grounds for the search and the object of the search must be explained to you fully.

You should not be stopped because of your age, race, ethnicity, nationality, faith, gender, sexual orientation, disability, the language you speak or because you have committed offences before.

Derbyshire's Action Plan

Derbyshire Constabulary believes that stop and search when used appropriately is an effective tactic allowing the police to keep the communities of Derbyshire safe by preventing and reducing crime. As a force we have to ensure that it is used correctly, at the right time, in the right place and in the right circumstances. We also need to our local communities to assist us in critically assessing its use.

Our action plan sets out the recommendations from the four mentioned reports and details what Derbyshire Constabulary is doing to meet these recommendations. This will be kept updated so that the progress we are making can be seen.

You can see the latest performance information on the attached report detailing the number of stop and searches and arrests broken down by ethnicity, reason for search and reason for arrest.

Scrutinising our stops

Scrutiny panels take place throughout the year. These are when a group of people from our Independent Advisory Group meet with staff from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to scrutinise a selection of stop and search forms.

If any inadequacies or errors are found these will be then fed back to the relevant officer - and their line manager - and the issues are addressed.  

These are panels are held to ensure fairness and equality to everyone who is stop searched by an officer.  

Latest stop and search figures

You can also now view stop and search activity and download the latest stops details and outcome of stops within the county by visiting: 


Via this link you will be able to see what stop and searches have been conducted in a particular area, with details on each search.

If you have any other queries with regards to stop and search then please contact us on 101.


If you have any questions in respect of Stop and Search in Derbyshire then please email Stop&Search@derbyshire.pnn.police.uk