Can police search my house?

Police are able to search your house with a warrant. Under section 118 of the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act the Police are required to show you a copy of this warrant.

There are also circumstances where police can enter and search your premises without a warrant including;

-to make an arrest

-to attend a crime scene

-situations of domestic violence

-to carry about breath tests in traffic offence investigations

-to locate someone who has escaped from prison or arrest

-to search if they reasonably suspect there is evidence which may otherwise be hidden or destroyed

-to prevent an out-of-control event

In any case a police officer may only stay for the reasonable time required for them to carry out any investigations, observations or questioning.

In the absence of a warrant or any of the above reasons, police do not have an automatic right to enter your home. In this case you can refuse them entry by clearly stating you do not consent to the police officer remaining on any part of your land or property.

If police are searching your house it is advisable not to answer any questions until you seek legal advice as although not a formal interview your answers can still form evidence. Apart from providing your name, date of birth and address you do not need to answer questions or assist the police in their search.