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Police powers to search Vehicles

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Police powers to search Vehicles

Postby subspace » Tue Jun 14, 2016 7:22 pm

Can the police be sued for searching a vehicle without having reasonable suspicion in a case where the law requires reasonable suspicion? If so, under what tort would it fall under?

It would not be battery unless the police also laid their hands on the driver e.g. by searching them.

I don't think it would be false imprisonment as the Police have a general power to stop vehicles. It is also questionable whether a driver who's car is stopped by the police could be described as being "imprisoned" unless I suppose they try to walk off and the police stop them leaving.

Violation of article 8 (right to private life) of the HRA? Although I question whether a search of a car engages article 8.

Trespass to goods? Trespass to land? Is entering a car without the consent of the driver trespass, even if it is parked in a public place?

The scenario I was thinking is if the Police spot a car being driven by a known criminal and decide to pull it over and search the car on the off chance that they might find something incriminating.
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Re: Police powers to search Vehicles

Postby dls » Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:38 pm

There are also powers given under road traffic and other legislation.

When a police officer acts, it is up to him to ensure that he knows what power he acts under and its limits. Ask.
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Re: Police powers to search Vehicles

Postby BoJangles » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:54 am

subspace wrote:Can the police be sued for searching a vehicle without having reasonable suspicion in a case where the law requires reasonable suspicion? If so, under what tort would it fall under?

The scenario I was thinking is if the Police spot a car being driven by a known criminal and decide to pull it over and search the car on the off chance that they might find something incriminating.


I have been stopped and searched and certainly didn't have a problem with it, why? because I had no dead bodies or drugs or stolen goods or no kidnap victim, or guns and knives in my car. I was thankful that I wasn't wearing my pj's at the time but quite frankly, the police should be praised for stopping and searching 'known' criminals. Lets face it, have they ever suffered the loss of a child from drugs or guns or knives, have they ever had precious sentimental items stolen from their homes or worse, been beaten to a pulp. Think of all the crimes a 'known' criminal can and do inflict on innocent people of all ages, victims never recover from the experience, I ask why you would seek the legalities behind a system that is there in an attempt to protect us from 'known' criminals?
Note: I am not a lawyer...just learnt a fair bit on that hideous road called litigation
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Re: Police powers to search Vehicles

Postby BoJangles » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:01 am

oops, just seen the date on the OP :lol: :lol: :lol:
Note: I am not a lawyer...just learnt a fair bit on that hideous road called litigation
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Re: Police powers to search Vehicles

Postby shootist » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:00 pm

Still worth a discussion.

dls wrote:There are also powers given under road traffic and other legislation.

When a police officer acts, it is up to him to ensure that he knows what power he acts under and its limits. Ask.


Two problems with asking the officer. 1) He may not know the law. 2) He may not give a damn about the law and when you ask, he will assume that you don't know the law.
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Re: Police powers to search Vehicles

Postby shootist » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:06 pm

subspace wrote:The scenario I was thinking is if the Police spot a car being driven by a known criminal and decide to pull it over and search the car on the off chance that they might find something incriminating.


My own 'interpretation' of the powers for police officers to search a person, and/or their car, is that it is, in practical terms, a power to avoid having to arrest someone in order to search them. The justification for a search under PACE is the same as the justification to arrest a person. That a person is a 'known criminal' is not sufficient justification for a search unless there is some additional reason to add to the scenario.
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