Search powers: When the police can search you, your home or your things

There are important restrictions on when the police can search your home, your car, your bags and other things, and you personally. They can only do it if they have your permission (“consent”) or if they have a specific legal power, either because they’ve got a warrant (written authority) from a judge or it’s a situation where an Act of Parliament gives them the power to do it without a warrant.

But even if you agree to the search, the search may still be illegal in some situations – which means that, for example, the police might not be able to use things they find as evidence against you if they bring criminal charges in court.

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