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Stop and search - introduction

Stop and search is the power we use to stop and search individuals that are suspected to have or are about to commit a crime without us exercising the power of arrest.

Stop and Search is a crucial policing tactic that enables us to serve the communities of Bedfordshire by protecting the public and fighting crime. It can increase community confidence in the police, help us get drugs and knives off the streets and make a positive contribution to reducing the fear of crime and making our communities safer.

However, if delivered incorrectly it can have the opposite effect. We know we have a duty and responsibility to carry out stop and search in a fair, professional and legitimate way. We consistently have one of the lowest levels of disproportionality among all UK police forces in our use of stop and search on people from different backgrounds, while we have a robust system of scrutiny of our use of these powers.

When can Stop and Search be used?

Our officers may conduct Stop and Search when they reasonably suspect that a person is in possession of an illegal item or something that may help them to commit crime. Whilst using powers available to them, officers are required to act in accordance with the Codes of Practice and treat people with respect and dignity.

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