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The Home Office seeks views as to how effective and proportionate it would be to extend the power of reasonable grounds ‘stop and search’ to cover:
- the proposed offence of carrying a corrosive substance in a public under the Offensive Weapons Bill 2018
- the misuse of laser pointers to commit certain offences under the Laser Misuse (Vehicle) Act 2018
- the misuse of drones to commit certain offences under the Air Navigation Order 2016 and the Prisons Act 1952
Section 1 of PACE provides the police with a power to stop and search a person or vehicle where they have reasonable grounds to suspect that they will find prohibited items, including offensive weapons such as knives, stolen articles, equipment related to the commission of certain offences and fireworks. Section 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 provides the same power in respect of controlled drugs.
The current legislation does not provide a specific power to stop and search in the case of corrosive substances possessed in a public place without good reason, laser pointers where they have been used against modes of transport, or drones and drone equipment involved in the commission of offences under the Air Navigation Order 2016 and conveying illicit items over a prison boundary.
You can also read the Welsh translation of the executive summary of the consultation document, which has been prepared in accordance with section 21 of the Welsh Language Act 1993.