Police have used stop and search powers on 10 and 11-year-olds

Police have said they can stop and search people of any age
Police have said they can stop and search people of any age

Police officers used their stop and search powers on a 10 year old, new figures reveal.

A Freedom of information request by the Chronicle & Echo has revealed that a 10 year old and two 11 year olds were stopped on separate occasions in 2013 and 2014, all on suspicion of having stolen goods.

Northamptonshire Police said there was no lower limit on the age of stopping and searching children

Chief Inspector Tom Thompson said: “The one 10-year-old and two 11-year-olds stopped and searched in 2013 and 2014 were suspected of being in possession of stolen property. No items were found and no further action was taken.

“There is no age limit on who can be stopped and searched and the procedures are the same.”

Northamptonshire Police said an officer must have reasonable grounds for carrying out the search, which should be based on “facts, information or intelligence or because of the way someone is behaving”.

They must also tell the person why they are being stopped and searched and give them a written record of the search.

Insp Thompson said searching young children happened rarely.

He said: “While there are occasions when officers will have grounds to search a 10 or 11-year-old, this happens infrequently and in 2013 and 2014 combined, accounted for only 0.3 per cent of the total of under-18s who were stopped and searched.”