The police are there to uphold the laws of the land, and they're ultimately here to keep people safe. From the rules of stop and search to the ins and outs of being arrested, we've got it covered.
A police officer has powers to stop and search you if they have 'reasonable grounds' to suspect you're carrying:
You can be stopped and searched without the 'reasonable grounds', but only if it has been approved by a senior police officer. This can happen if it is suspected that:
Police can stop and question you at any time, but before you're searched the police officer must tell you their name and police station, the reason they want to search you, what they expect to find, why they are legally allowed to search you, and that you can have a record of the search.
A police officer can ask you to take off your coat, jacket or gloves. They might ask you to take off other clothes and anything you're wearing for religious reasons, such as a veil or turban, but they must do so out of public view.
If an officer wants to remove more than a jacket and gloves they must be the same sex as you.
To arrest you the police need reasonable grounds to suspect you're involved in a crime for which your arrest is necessary.
The police have powers to arrest you anywhere and at any time, including on the street, at home or at work.
If you're arrested the police must:
You cannot normally be held for more than 24 hours without being charged or released.
PCSOs work with police officers. They must wear a uniform clearly marked with PCSO. They share some, but not all of the powers of a police officer.