Stratford Magistrates' Court: searching procedure changes

Following a number of serious incidents at Stratford Magistrates’ Court, which our members made us aware of, we raised concerns about the searching procedures with HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS).

The safety of our members is paramount and we welcome the changes that HMCTS has introduced as a result.

Professional users of Stratford Magistrates’ Court, including solicitors, will no longer be subject to an enhanced search, which should provide a better experience for lawyers.

We will continue to speak to our members to find out how the changes have impacted their experience and raise any further issues with HMCTS.

Changes to searching procedure

From 28 May, all visitors except Professional Users Access Scheme (PUAS) members will go through the standard search process:

  • bag search
  • going through the magnetic arch
  • wanding

Find out more about PUAS

Enhanced searches will only take place where a visitor is attending a courtroom where a protestor case is being heard.

These searches will take place at the courtroom door (not the front doors of the court) and will always be carried out by security guards of the same gender.

PUAS members will be exempt from enhanced searches.

HMCTS says it will keep these measures under regular review and use police information to inform future changes to its risk assessment.

Contact us

We encourage members to get in contact with us if they have any concerns around court safety at Stratford Magistrate, or any other courts.

Contact us on our helplines page.

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