Stop and search

Stop & Search is a crucial policing tactic that enables us to serve our purpose towards the communities of Bedfordshire in fighting crime, protecting the public.

‘Stop and Search’ is governed by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act which sets out how and when searches should take place. The law requires Officers to have reasonable grounds to suspect an individual of being in possession of articles that amount to evidence of an offence before searching them. Where such grounds exist, we will search individuals in order to prevent and detect crime and make our communities safer.


The below guides can help to understand the Stop and Search process.

Targeting ‘Stop and Search’ is effective in identifying offenders and deterring individuals from committing crime or anti-social behaviour. In Bedfordshire we target ‘Stop and Search’ in places where ‘intelligence’ tells us that offenders are operating or where we know that crimes are being committed. On occasion police officers use their professional judgment to decide if necessary to carry out a ‘Stop and Search’.

In August 2014 Bedfordshire Police joined the Home Office's Best Use of Stop and Search scheme. The voluntary scheme is designed to contribute to a significant reduction in the overall use of stop and search, deliver better and more intelligence-led stop and search, and improve stop-to-arrest ratios. It will also provide the public with further information on the outcome of searches.



With help from the British Transport Police, a video has been created offering some useful information on what a Stop and Search is, and what your rights are if you are subjected to a stop a search.


For more information on our Stop and Search approach take a look at our Stop and Search Policy and Procedure.  


If you belong to an institution in Bedfordshire and would like to receive free training on Stop and Search please email:


Training is delivered by the Chair of the Stop Search Panel Montell Neufville in partnership with the Bedfordshire Police Community Cohesion Team.