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Armed Forces Act 2001

Section 3: Provisions relating to search under section 2

23.This section sets out some additional provisions relating to the powers of search which may be exercised under section 2.

24.This section is based on section 2 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, which mainly provides for safeguards against misuse of the power to stop and search. In particular, section 3 provides that a person or vehicle may only be detained under section 2 of this Act for a period reasonably needed to make a search; and that persons cannot be required to remove anything other than an outer coat, jacket or gloves in public if they are searched. It also allows the Secretary of State by regulations to make provision equivalent to that made by sections 2 and 3 of the 1984 Act. For example, one of the safeguards in section 2 of the 1984 Act is the duty of a policeman to inform the person whom he intends to search of his name, the object of the search and the grounds for the search.

25.As explained in paragraph 20 above, the power to search persons applies on board vessels, aircraft and hovercraft, as well as in other places. Section 3 provides that the power to search vehicles applies to these other forms of transport. It also provides that the rules on search under section 2 do not apply to premises used for custody, detention and imprisonment. These are subject to separate rules on search, made under other provisions of the SDAs.

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