Guide 4 Life Harrogate



The Police have a lot of powers but they also have rules they must follow.

Why would the police stop and search me?

Police Officers and Community Support Officers can stop and speak to you at any time. Police Officers should only stop you to search you if they have good reason to suspect you are carrying:

  • Drugs
  • Weapons
  • Stolen property
  • Tools which could be used to commit a crime, criminal damage or act of terrorism.
What should I do if I am stopped by the police?
  • Stay calm - don˙t struggle or make threats
  • Answer any questions that they ask you
  • Ask if you don't understand what is going on
  • If you are under 17 and are asked to go to the police station, a responsible adult will be contacted.

If you think you have not been treated properly you can make a complaint. You can do this by asking to speak to the Duty Officer at the police station or you could speak to the Citizen's Advice Bureau (CAB).

Harrogate CAB

Tel: (01423) 567150

Ripon CAB

Tel: (01765) 643466

Did you know?

You can download a useful a 'Stop and Search Know Your Rights' booklet at

Reprimands and final warnings

If you are 17 or under, instead of a caution (which is given to adults), you could receive a a 'Reprimand'˙ and 'Final Warning'. These will be given at a police station.

If it is your first offence or your offence is relatively minor, you could be issued with a Reprimand (a type of formal warning).

If your first offence is a serious offence or if you have already had a Reprimand, you will be issued with a Final Warning.

If you are under 17 your parents/guardian or appropriate adult will have to be present when you are dealt with.

Accepting either a Reprimand or a Final Warning is the same as an admission of guilt.

The police need to have enough evidence against you to prove your guilt.

A Reprimand or Final Warning is not classed as a criminal record, although it is a police record.