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A court security officer is, in England & Wales, a person employed by either the Lord Chancellor or a private company as a "court officer" and designated by the Lord Chancellor under section 51 (1) of the Courts Act 2003.[1]



Court security officers may search people as they enter the court[2] and remove them if they refuse to be searched.[3] They can also remove people in order to enable court business to be carried on without interference or delay, maintain order and secure the safety of any person in the court building.[3] Reasonable force may be used in exercise of these powers.[3] Officers may ask a person to surrender (and failing that seize) property if they believe it may jeopardise the maintenance of order in the court, put the safety of any person in the court building at risk, or may be evidence of, or in relation to, an offence.[4] Property that was taken for one of the first two reasons must be returned as the person leaves the court; property seized because it may be evidence of, or in relation to, an offence may be kept for up to 24 hours to enable a police constable to deal with it.[5] Court security officers may only exercise their powers when they are "readily identifiable",[1] and assaulting or obstructing a court security officer in execution of his duties is an offence.[6]


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