The Rise and Fall of Suspicionless Searches

40 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2016 Last revised: 29 Apr 2016

See all articles by Ben Bowling

Ben Bowling

King's College London – The Dickson Poon School of Law; King's College London

Estelle Marks

King's College London - The Dickson Poon School of Law

Date Written: January 1, 2016

Abstract

This paper examines the extraordinary rise and fall of police powers to stop-and-search without suspicion in public places in England and Wales. Suspicionless searches – authorised by s.60 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 and s.44 Terrorism Act 2000 – rose to a peak of 360,000 in 2009 and then declined radically to fewer than 1,000 in 2015. The paper seeks to explain changes in the use of suspicionless search powers drawing on a theory of the relationship between law and policing by examining the police ‘working environment’ comprised of three structures: law, politics and work. The paper concludes with a consideration of attempts to reform stop-and-search powers and the implications for the future of suspicionless searches.

Keywords: law, police powers, policing, suspicion, stop-and-search

Suggested Citation

Bowling, Ben and Marks, Estelle, The Rise and Fall of Suspicionless Searches (January 1, 2016). King's College London Law School Research Paper - 2016-20. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2772070 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2772070

Ben Bowling (Contact Author)

King's College London – The Dickson Poon School of Law ( email )

Somerset House East Wing
Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/law/staff/b/bowlingb.html

King's College London ( email )

Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

Estelle Marks

King's College London - The Dickson Poon School of Law ( email )

Somerset House East Wing
Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

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