Identification and notice

131 Identification and notice requirements for person exercising search power (other than remote access search)

(1)

A person exercising a search power (other than a remote access search) must,—

(a)

before initial entry into or onto the place or vehicle or other thing to be searched,—

(i)

announce his or her intention to enter and search the place, vehicle, or other thing under a statutory power; and

(ii)

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

(iii)

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

(b)

before or on initial entry into or onto the place or vehicle, or other thing to be searched, provide the occupier of the place or the person in charge of the vehicle or other thing with—

(i)

a copy of the search warrant; or

(ii)

if the power is exercised without a warrant, 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.

(2)

The person exercising the search power is not required to comply with subsection (1) if he or she has reasonable grounds to believe that—

(a)

no person is lawfully present in or on the place, vehicle, or other thing to be searched; or

(b)

compliance with subsection (1)(a) would—

(i)

endanger the safety of any person; or

(ii)

prejudice the successful exercise of the entry and search power; or

(iii)

prejudice ongoing investigations.

(3)

The person exercising the search power may use reasonable force in order to effect entry into or onto the place, vehicle, or other thing if—

(a)

subsection (2) applies; or

(b)

following a request, the person present refuses entry or does not allow entry within a reasonable time.

(4)

If the occupier of a place is not present at any time during the search, or no person is in charge of the vehicle or other thing during the search, the person carrying out the search must,—

(a)

on completion of the search, leave a copy of the notice referred to in subsection (5) and a copy of the search warrant (if applicable), in a prominent position at the place, or in or on the vehicle or other thing; or

(b)

if this is not reasonably practicable, provide a copy of the notice referred to in subsection (5) and a copy of the search warrant (if applicable), to the occupier of the place or the owner of the vehicle or other thing no later than 7 days after the exercising of the power.

(5)

The notice required by subsection (4) is a written notice containing the following particulars:

(a)

the date and time of the commencement and completion of the search:

(b)

the name or unique identifier of the person who had overall responsibility for that search:

(c)

where the power is exercised without a warrant, the name of the enactment under which the search is taking place and the reason for the search under that enactment:

(d)

the address of the office to which inquiries should be made:

(e)

if nothing is seized, the fact that nothing was seized:

(f)

if anything was seized, the fact that seizure occurred and (if an inventory is not provided at the same time under sections 133 to 135) that an inventory of the things seized will be provided to the occupier of the place or person in charge of the vehicle or other thing no later than 7 days after the seizure.

(6)

For the purposes of this section and sections 133 to 135,—

(a)

the following persons may not be treated as the occupier of the place or the person in charge of a vehicle or other thing:

(i)

any person who is under 14 years of age (unless section 95(2) applies to that person):

(ii)

any person who the person executing the warrant has reasonable grounds to believe is not the occupier of the place or person in charge of the vehicle or other thing:

(b)

every reference to a copy of the authority referred to in subsection (1)(b) means, in a case where a search is undertaken without a search warrant, written advice about the enactment that authorises the search.

(7)

Subsections (4) and (5) are subject to sections 134 and 135.

(8)

This section does not apply to a remote access search.

(9)

For the purposes of this section, search includes an entry under section 7 or 8.