Show Summary Details
Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice (4th edn)

Andrew Sanders, Richard Young, and Mandy Burton
Page of

Printed from Oxford Law Trove. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 03 December 2021

2. Stop and searchlocked

2. Stop and searchlocked

  • Andrew Sanders, Andrew SandersProfessor of Criminal Law and Criminology, University of Birmingham
  • Richard YoungRichard YoungProfessor of Law and Policy Research, University of Bristol
  •  and Mandy BurtonMandy BurtonProfessor of Socio-Legal Studies, University of Leicester


This chapter, which examines the powers of the police to stop and search people provided by s 1 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE), considers whether stop and search is racially discriminatory; the constraints and controls on the exercise of discretion; and the impact of stop-search powers. It argues that the police still primarily act according to working assumptions based on ‘suspiciousness’, i.e. hunch, incongruity, and stereotyping on the basis of types of people, previous records, and so forth. The police sometimes discover crime when acting upon their instincts, but such suspicion as they have is seldom in relation to any particular offence, and therefore rarely is it ‘reasonable’ in terms of the due process norms of s 1 of PACE.

Updated in this version

Note: An update has been made available on the Online Resource Centre (July 2010).

You do not currently have access to this chapter

Sign in

Please sign in to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription