What do I say if the Police ask to search my house?
The Police might also ask you if they can come inside to search your home. Unless they have a warrant, the Police cannot search your home unless you agree and it is for one of the following purposes:
- to prevent a crime;
- to protect someone from being harmed or injured, or to prevent property from being damaged or destroyed;
- to investigate whether a crime has been committed; or
- to search under a specific power granted by an Act (a law).
The Police must tell you which of these four purposes they want to search your home for. In addition, they have to tell you the reason why they are searching your home.
If they do not have a warrant, you can also agree on conditions for the search. For example, you could agree that the police can only search a specific room, or can only stay in your house for a limited time. The search cannot go beyond what you have agreed to, and you can withdraw your consent at any time.
The police will have to stop searching unless they have found something which gives them the right to continue searching, e.g. they have found drugs.
If you’re not sure why they’re searching you or your property, you can always politely ask them why they’re searching.