Search and Surveillance Act 2012

125 Special rules about searching persons

(1)

If a person exercises a power to search a person, the person exercising the power—

(a)

must identify himself or herself either by name or unique identifier; and

(b)

must state the name of the enactment under which the search is taking place and the reason for the search under that enactment unless it is impracticable to do so in the circumstances; and

(c)

if not in Police uniform, must produce evidence of his or her identity; and

(d)

may detain the person to enable the search to be carried out (whether at the place of initial detention or while the person is travelling to or is at any other place where the search is carried out), but only for as long as is necessary to achieve that purpose; and

(e)

may use any force that is reasonable for the purposes of the search; and

(f)

may, in conducting the search, use any equipment or aid to facilitate the search, if it is used in a way that—

(i)

involves no or minimal contact; and

(ii)

is reasonable in the circumstances; and

(g)

may, if he or she considers that either or both of the following are in the interests of the person to be searched, request:

(i)

the assistance of a medical practitioner or nurse:

(ii)

the assistance of a parent, guardian, or other person for the time being responsible for the day-to-day care of the person to be searched; and

(h)

if the search is to be a strip search, may request the assistance of another enforcement officer (whether or not employed or engaged in the same or a different law enforcement agency) who is—

(i)

authorised under any other enactment to conduct strip searches; and

(ii)

of the same sex as the person to be searched; and

(i)

may search any item that—

(i)

the person is wearing or carrying; or

(ii)

is in the person’s physical possession or immediate control; and

(j)

may seize any thing carried by the person or in the physical possession or immediate control of the person being searched if that thing is the subject of the search or may otherwise be lawfully seized; and

(k)

may copy any document, or part of a document, carried by the person or in the physical possession or immediate control of the person being searched if that document is the subject of the search or may otherwise be lawfully seized; and

(l)

may use any reasonable measures to access a computer system or other data storage device, that the person being searched is carrying or that is in the person’s physical possession or immediate control, if any intangible material that is the subject of the search may be in that computer system or other device; and

(m)

if any intangible material accessed under paragraph (l) is the subject of the search or may otherwise be lawfully seized, may copy that material (including by means of previewing, cloning, or other forensic methods either before or after removal for examination); and

(n)

may take photographs, sound and video recordings, and drawings of any thing carried or in the physical possession or immediate control of the person if the person exercising the power has reasonable grounds to believe that the photographs or sound or video recordings or drawings may be relevant to the purposes of the search.

(2)

Subsection (1)(a), (b), and (c) do not apply in respect of a search conducted under section 11(3).

(3)

A person who carries out a strip search, rub-down search, or any other personal search must conduct the search with decency and sensitivity and in a manner that affords to the person being searched the degree of privacy and dignity that is consistent with achieving the purpose of the search.

(4)

If a person exercises a power to search a person, or searches a person with his or her consent, the person exercising the power must ensure that an inventory of any items seized as a result of the search is prepared promptly and that a copy is given to the person searched.

(5)

Nothing in subsection (1)(f) permits a person carrying out a rub-down search under sections 85 to 87 (rub-down search of arrested or detained person) to carry out a more intrusive search than is described in those sections.