(1) Subject to the following provisions of this section, if an officer of at least the rank of [inspector] has reasonable grounds for believing—
(a) that a person who has been arrested and is in police detention may have concealed on him anything which—
(i) he could use to cause physical injury to himself or others; and
(ii) he might so use while he is in police detention or in the custody of a court; or
(b) that such a person—
(i) may have a Class A drug concealed on him; and
(ii) was in possession of it with the appropriate criminal intent before his arrest,
he may authorise [an intimate search] of that person.
(2) An officer may not authorise an intimate search of a person for anything unless he has reasonable grounds for believing that it cannot be found without his being intimately searched.
(3) An officer may give an authorisation under subsection (1) above orally or in writing but, if he gives it orally, he shall confirm it in writing as soon as is practicable.
[(3A) A drug offence search shall not be carried out unless the appropriate consent has been given in writing.
(3B) Where it is proposed that a drug offence search be carried out, an appropriate officer shall inform the person who is to be subject to it—
(a) of the giving of the authorisation for it; and
(b) of the grounds for giving the authorisation.]
(4) An intimate search which is only a drug offence search shall be by way of examination by a suitably qualified person.
(5) Except as provided by subsection (4) above, an intimate search shall be by way of examination by a suitably qualified person unless an officer of at least the rank of [inspector] considers that this is not practicable.
(6) An intimate search which is not carried out as mentioned in subsection (5) above shall be carried out by a constable.
(7) A constable may not carry out an intimate search of a person of the opposite sex.
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