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The cases on this page highlight the growth of police search powers after Dedman. Cases such as R v Fearon established that cell phones could be searched incident to arrest while cases such as R v Golden indicated that a suspect could be strip searched incident to arrest on reasonable grounds. Along with Fearon and Golden, several other police search powers can be traced back to Dedman and the Waterfield test. Click on the cases below for more information on the rulings:

= Search incident to arrest

= Bodily search

= Search without a warrant 

= Search incident to detention

= Search of technology


A "search incident to arrest" is any search of an arrested person that occurs immediately following

their arrest. Such a search may involve a search of their person or a search of their property (eg/ car,


A "bodily search" Any search of a person where a police has to touch part of a person’s body or

a piece of clothing that is on a persons body. This category includes both frisks and strip searches.

A "search without a warrant" is any search that occurs without a warrant in a situation where a

warrant would normally be required. Incidences are categorized as such when the judge explicitly makes

reference to the fact that the search was done without a warrant.

A "search incident to detention" is any search that occurs of a detained person immediately

following their detention. Detention in this context includes physical detention and psychological detention.


"Search of technology" quite simply refers to the search of a piece of technology that stores information.

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