Search Legislation

Police and Justice Act 2006

Section 12: Power to stop and search at aerodromes

149.Section 12 inserts new section 24B in Part 3 of the Aviation Security Act 1982 (policing of airports) following the recommendation made by the Rt. Hon. John Wheeler in his report on airport security (published by the Department for Transport, 2002). This enables a police constable to stop and search, without warrant, any person, vehicle or aircraft in any area of an aerodrome, whether designated or non-designated, for stolen or prohibited articles, where he has reasonable grounds to suspect that he will find such articles. Designation takes place under Part 3 of the Aviation Security Act 1982. If applied to an aerodrome, it allows police constables additional powers that are not available at non-designated aerodromes. The term aerodrome, as defined by section 38(1) of the 1982 Act, is used rather than airport, as it has wider meaning and covers major airports as well as airfields used only by private flying clubs.

150.New section 24B(4) enables a constable to seize items discovered during a search which he reasonably suspects to be stolen or prohibited articles.

151.New section 24B(5) defines a prohibited article as something made or adapted for use in the course of or in connection with criminal conduct, or an article intended for such use by the person having it with him or by some other person.

152.New section 24B(6) defines “criminal conduct” as conduct which constitutes an offence in the part of the UK in which the aerodrome is situated or conduct which would constitute an offence in that part of the UK if it occurred there.

153.New section 24B(9) prevents a constable from entering a dwelling during the exercise of the powers conferred by section 24B.

154.Paragraph 8(4) of Schedule 14 repeals subsections (1), (4), and (5) of section 27 of the Aviation Security Act 1982. These are no longer necessary since the search powers in new section 24B are exercisable at both designated and non-designated airports.

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