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Police Searches

Volume 455: debated on Monday 8 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many searches were conducted by police officers in each of the last five years; how many seizures of money were made; and how much money was seized in each year. (109670)

The police have search powers under various pieces of legislation and the seizure of cash is often incidental to the main purpose of the search. Information held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform on the number of searches within England and Wales of persons or vehicles under section 1 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and other legislation from 2000-01 to 2004-05 (latest available) is given in table 1. Data for 2005-06 will be issued in 2007.

The information available on the numbers of seizures of cash by the police under the powers in the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and the amounts seized, is set out in table 2.

Table 1: searches of persons and vehicles under s1 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and other legislation1, England and Wales, 2000-01 to 2004-05

Total searches

2000-01

714,100

2001-02

741,000

2002-03

895,300

2003-04

749,400

2004-05

851,200

1 Includes searches for drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and those for firearms under the Firearms Act 1968. Also includes other powers such as s43 of the Terrorism Act 2000; various poaching and wildlife conservation legislation; s27(1) of the Aviation Security Act 1982; s163 and 164 of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979; and the Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc) Act 1985.

Note:

Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative systems generated by the police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when these data used.

Source:

Home Office Statistical Bulletin ‘Arrests for Recorded Crime (Notifiable Offences) and the Operation of Certain Police Powers under PACE, England and Wales, 2004/05’. Issue 21/05.

Table 2: police cash seizures

Number

Value (£ million)

2002-031

n/a

n/a

2003-04

494

20.357

2004-05

564

15.802

2005-06

884

43.34

n/a = not available.

1 The powers for police to seize cash under this Part of POCA came into effect on 30 December 2002.

Source:

Reports of the Appointed Person for England and Wales, and Northern Ireland 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06, under Part five, Chapter three of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.(POCA).