Police Powers to Search Premises

The police have powers to enter, or to enter and search, your premises for many reasons. Some of these powers are set out in PACE but the police also have power to enter and search under other statutes, for instance the Theft Act 1968. It should be noted that the police do not always need to have a search warrant, although they must always have a reason for the search.

There is a Code of Practice, Code B, setting out how the police should conduct searches. The relevant articles of the Convention here are Article 8 (right to privacy and family life) and Article 10 (right to freedom of expression).

Powers of entry and search must be fully justified before use and the police should always consider whether their objectives could be met by other less obtrusive means. If the police exceed their powers any evidence obtained as a result may not be admissible as evidence in a trial.
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