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22-1-2018 9:33 am  #1

Legality of 'the Stop'

Somewhere on here I read that, since 2002 (I think), it has actually been illegal to make random stop & searches.    The BF must have a reason to stop you or they are exceeding their authority and not just have an inkling that you might be bringing in extra ciggies.
Is this still true or has that loophole been closed by subsequent legislation.


22-1-2018 10:18 am  #2

Re: Legality of 'the Stop'

majority of stops are at random, bf make their excuses and reasons if you querie the reason for the stop.

Please ensure you do not divulge any information which could identify you as Border Force will use your posts here as evidence against you in court.
Better to live one day as a lion than a thousand days as a sheep'


22-1-2018 10:30 am  #3

Re: Legality of 'the Stop'

Thanks Warrior

     Thread Starter

26-1-2018 2:24 pm  #4

Re: Legality of 'the Stop'


Recently a very good friend of mine attempted to take his own life last Wednesday 24th Jan 2018, This is very concerning and has caused great alarm not to just me but his family also. Thankfully the attempted suicide failed (Thankgoodness) but its added great pressure on me and his family to keep close eye on him.

The cause of attempted suicide is due to Border Force Customs Dover persistently persecuting him since 2009 when the made him attend Pencester Road Magistrates Court in Jan 2009 for alleged commercial marketing of his own tobacco he brought back from Belgium for his own personnel use. He proved his innocence in court and had all his tobacco returned plus £358 costs. Then Border Force wrote to him and told him they were appealing the Dover magistrates verdict which was dated 14th Feb 2009. Many months later he received another letter dated 10th Nov 2009 for Maidstone Crown Court to which he attended and was informed by the court usher that Border Force have withdrawn their appeal and they should have informed him to which they didn't and then he was £643.40 out of pocket.

The following year 2010 he went to Belgium and purchased the exactly same amount , same brand and on returning to the U.K through Dover AGAIN the Border Force seized his tobacco, this time the Assistant Director Mr Paul Booth intervened and ordered it to be returned to him plus £25 towards postal costs but still out of pocket. My friend went again to Belgium in 2011 for his tobacco again bringing back the exact same amount and brand and AGAIN Border Force Customs at Dover confiscated his tobacco! This is time he had enough and he took Border Force Customs to local county court and AGAIN the court ordered the tobacco be returned to him plus £25 costs. In 2012 he went to Belgium again for his tobacco for same amount and same brand and Dover Border Force Again seized his tobacco,

By this time my friend was totally confused as to why they kept seizing his tobacco after having it returned in previous years. Again he appealed and Border force had to return his tobacco this time they delivered it to his home address with no costs. He only goes once a year for tobacco which he is within his rights to do so that is only time he leaves the UK is to get his tobacco. He went to Belgium in 2013-2014 and 15 returning to Dover with the exact amount of tobacco and brand and was held for approx 1hour and 40 mins (shortest) and 2hours 29 mins (longest) on every occasion.

Then he fell very ill the second half of 2015 having heart attack and stents having to be inserted also was diagnosed with enlarged prostate and small tumour also diagnosed with C.P.O.D all in 2015 he was so ill for several months that he didn't smoke. So when 2016 came he still had several month supply of tobacco that he didn't smoke due to illness. So after nearly two years since last visiting Belgium for his tobacco once he was well enough he went again in 2017 and this is what I believe has tipped him over the edge AGAIN Border Force Dover Seized his tobacco, 3 boxes of chocolates, 1 box of rolling papers and 60 gas lighters, My friend told the officer he'd been to 3 different courts for the exactly same amount of tobacco and officer 10750 told him when he seized his goods "Forget about what the courts told you, your now dealing with the Border Force not the courts" and that gave my friend strong concerns he will not be given a fair hearing and to him it seems the Border Force Customs undermine the courts of the law. He now has to attend Folkestone magistrates court Castle Hill Avenue Folkestone, Kent CT20 2DH on 9th April 2018 at 10am for his fifth trial in 9 years for exactly the same amount of tobacco and brand that he appeared for the last times.

He needs help and support please from anyone willing or anyone with shared experiences to help and show him there are people out there who can support him. Ive known him for 27 plus years and never ever would have thought he'd attempt taking his own life its completely out of character and I will not allow this to happen! He need support to show Border Force Customs Dover they cannot continue to bully ordinary working class citizens anymore !! Any responses will be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by eezyrider (26-1-2018 8:12 pm)


26-1-2018 4:07 pm  #5

Re: Legality of 'the Stop'

he seems to know the procedure very well, and he should have no fear of attending court again and winning again.

I myself went through a long period of harrasmment by bf, and still get the odd one who try it on, but ive had no seizures now for around 7 years.
It sounds to me like your freind is a marked man or bf maybe getting a tip off each time he travels.

He really needs to document everything what has happened in the past and carry it with each time he travels ,this will hopefully make bf think twice before putting him through it all again.

I wish him all the best and good luck in court again, im sure he will have no problems winning his case,and he should also make a comprhensive complaint to bf, his mp and anyone else he can think of about his treatment.

Please ensure you do not divulge any information which could identify you as Border Force will use your posts here as evidence against you in court.
Better to live one day as a lion than a thousand days as a sheep'


26-1-2018 8:01 pm  #6

Re: Legality of 'the Stop'

Dear HelpNeeded

Could you please edit your post and split it into paragraphs, It is very difficult to read as it is. (Or ask a moderator to do it)



Last edited by eezyrider (26-1-2018 8:13 pm)


26-1-2018 8:02 pm  #7

Re: Legality of 'the Stop'

Unfortunately BF are acting within their remit and I doubt there is much you can do.

As warrior suggests, I would personally push the matter with my MP. My MP did follow up a complaint for me and got a reply from the Director General of BF. Not the reply I wanted but at least he got a reply. 

I know it's avoiding the issue but I would use a different route maybe.

Please ensure you do not divulge any information which could identify you as Border Force will use your posts here as evidence against you in court.


29-1-2018 8:40 pm  #8

Re: Legality of 'the Stop'

Hmm sounds like your friend has had a raw deal from customs over the years. Unfortunately they are something of a law unto themselves, but here are some suggestions.

He could try making a formal complaint to the Border Force. If he is not satisfied with their response he can take it to the ombudsman. If he does not get anywhere with this, he could try complaining to the EU commission regarding breaches of EU law.

Also, although it does not affect the legality of a seizure, as such, it is illegal under UK law for BF to stop someone without reasonable grounds. According to their internal proceedings they are required to record the grounds for the stop in the notebook. It is therefore possible to sue the BF for this unlawful conduct or even for harassment although it would be advisable to involve a solicitor if possible. Alternatively he could try making a complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commisson.

Also he could try  to attract as much publicity as possible e.g. by involving the local or national press or through social media like facebook.

I also note that you say your friend once successfully sued the BF in the county court. Can you supply any more details of how he did this? It would be of interest to us on this forum as an possible alternative to the (generally unsatisfactory) statutory remedies of condemnation and restoration.

Some links below:


Last edited by turbulentupstart (29-1-2018 8:42 pm)


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