Supreme Court upholds suspicionless stop and search

17.12.15 | |

The Supreme Court has today ruled that the police power to stop and search for offensive weapons or dangerous instruments without requiring any reasonable suspicion is lawful.  The Court confirmed that the power, contained in section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, must not be exercised in a discriminatory way and must only be used where the test of necessity is met.  Police use of the power has been the subject of significant public criticism in the past, including from the Home Secretary.  Its use by the Metropolitan Police Service has fallen from around 90,000 searches per year at the time of the Appellant’s stop and search in 2010 to around 200 searches in the last year, in part as a result of heightened scrutiny to which this case contributed.  


Ruth Brander from Doughty Street Chambers was junior counsel for the Appellant.


To download a copy of the Supreme Court judgment. handed down on 17th December please click here.

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