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The Police and Criminal Evidence (Northern Ireland) Order 1989

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Power of constable to stop and search persons, vehicles etc.N.I.

3.—(1) A constable may exercise any power conferred by this Article—

(a)in any place to which at the time when he proposes to exercise the power the public or any section of the public has access, on payment or otherwise, as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission; or

(b)in any other place to which people have ready access at the time when he proposes to exercise the power but which is not a dwelling.

(2) Subject to paragraphs (3) to (5), a constable—

(a)may search—

(i)any person or vehicle;

(ii)anything which is in or on a vehicle,

for stolen or prohibited articles [F1, any article to which paragraph (9) applies or any firework to which paragraph (9A) applies]; and

(b)may detain a person or vehicle for the purpose of such a search.

(3) This Article does not give a constable power to search a person or vehicle or anything in or on a vehicle unless he has reasonable grounds for suspecting that he will find stolen or prohibited articles [F2, any article to which paragraph (9) applies or any firework to which paragraph (9A) applies].

(4) If a person is in a garden or yard occupied with and used for the purposes of a dwelling or on other land so occupied and used, a constable may not search him in the exercise of the power conferred by this Article unless the constable has reasonable grounds for believing—

(a)that he does not reside in the dwelling; and

(b)that he is not in the place in question with the express or implied permission of a person who resides in the dwelling.

(5) If a vehicle is in a garden or yard occupied with and used for the purposes of a dwelling or on other land so occupied and used, a constable may not search the vehicle or anything in or on it in the exercise of the power conferred by this Article unless he has reasonable grounds for believing—

(a)that the person in charge of the vehicle does not reside in the dwelling; and

(b)that the vehicle is not in the place in question with the express or implied permission of a person who resides in the dwelling.

(6) If in the course of such a search a constable discovers an article which he has reasonable grounds for suspecting to be a stolen or prohibited article [F3, an article to which paragraph (9) applies or a firework to which paragraph (9A) below applies], he may seize it.

(7) An article is prohibited for the purposes of this Part if it is—

(a)an offensive weapon; or

(b)an article—

(i)made or adapted for use in the course of or in connection with an offence to which this sub‐paragraph applies; or

(ii)intended by the person having it with him for such use by him or by some other person.

(8) The offences to which sub‐paragraph (b) of paragraph (7) applies are—

(a)burglary;

(b)theft;

(c)offences under section 12(2) of the Theft Act (Northern Ireland) 1969F4 (taking of vehicles and other conveyances without authority);

[F5(d)fraud (contrary to section 1 of the Fraud Act 2006).]

(e)offences under Article 172 of the Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1981F6 (taking of motor vehicle, etc. without owner's consent or authority)[F7;and]

[F7(f)offences under Article 3 of the Criminal Damage (Northern Ireland) Order 1977 (NI 4) (destroying or damaging property).]

(9) This paragraph applies to any article in relation to which a person has committed, or is committing or is going to commit an offence under section 139 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988F8 (offence of having article with blade or point in public place).

[F9(9A) This paragraph applies to any firework within the meaning of the Explosives (Fireworks) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002 (SR 2002 No. 147) which a person possesses in contravention of those Regulations.]

(10) In this Part “offensive weapon” means any article—

(a)made or adapted for use for causing injury to persons; or

(b)intended by the person having it with him for such use by him or by some other person.

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