Court says police must give names

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The Independent Online
POLICE OFFICERS who do not give suspects their names and station addresses before making searches on the street are breaking the law, a High Court judge ruled yesterday.

The ruling came in the case of 22-year-old Mustapha Osman, from Tottenham, north London, who won his appeal against sentence after he was stopped and searched on his way to a fair in east London. The decision by Lord Justice Sedley and Mr Justice Collins leaves police authorised to carry out searches with no option but to give to each and every person they stop "name and police station" details. Lord Justice Sedley suggested a possible solution was for officers to carry packages of paper slips with the details on to save endless repetitions of their names.

Lord Justice Sedley said: "Whilst there is an element of formality and perhaps an unjustified use of time in a police officer having to recite name and station to every person searched, it is Parliament's view that such formality is of great importance in relation to civil liberties."