HL Deb 05 June 1980 vol 409 c1730WA

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they consider the fact that someone is on their way to attend a pop festival is, on its own, sufficient to give the police reasonable grounds to stop and search that individual under the relevant provisions of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, and whether they will confirm that no power to search people at random is provided under that Act.


(Lord Belstead): Section 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 empowers a police officer to search any person whom he has reasonable grounds to suspect of being in possession of a controlled drug. The police would be likely to search a person whose physical condition suggested that he was under the influence of a drug or in respect of whom they had received information about possession of a controlled drug. Use of the power in any particular circumstances would be a matter for the chief officer of police concerned and, if necessary, the courts. But the understanding of Her Majesty's Government is that it is not the practice of the police to conduct random searches of those who attend pop festivals.

House adjourned at twenty-seven minutes before eleven o'clock.