Ministry of Justice
102 Petty France
2 January 2018
Dear Mr Potter
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request – 171130003
Thank you for your request received on 28 November 2017 in which asked for the following information
from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ):
“… please provide the number of items seized from people at the doors of both Ipswich
Crown Court and South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court, Ipswich, from January 2015 to
November 2017. Please also provide a breakdown of which items have been seized from
each court and the precise number of each item…”
Your request is being handled under the FOIA.
I can confirm that the MoJ holds the information that you have requested and I have provided it in the
Please note that we do not automatically confiscate items under the Courts Act. We have a robust security
system that identifies prohibited items and we ask people to surrender them at the point on entry to our
buildings. Under S.54 (2) of the Courts Act, we confiscate items, when people refuse to surrender them
when asked to do so. Such actions are taken where we have security concerns, as part of the measures
we take to protect court users, the Judiciary, and staff. We do not separately record items surrendered or
seized. The information provided to you about prohibited items therefore makes no distinction between
items surrendered or confiscated.
All items confiscated or seized that are not considered an offensive weapon, are returned to the individual
on leaving the court. The only exceptions are blades less than three inches, for example pen knives, which
are only returned following a request in writing. Any articles that could be considered an offensive weapon
are not returned but referred to the Police.
HMCTS takes the issue of security within courts extremely seriously and has a robust security and safety
system to protect all court users and the Judiciary. This system includes mandatory bag searches, metal
detectors and surveillance cameras, as well as court security officers who have legislative powers to
protect all those in the court building. The powers of the court security officers include the ability to restrain
and remove people from the building should there be a need. Our security system is continually monitored
to ensure that it is effective and proportionate, and mitigates against the risks faced. Appeal Rights
If you are not satisfied with this response you have the right to request an internal review by responding in
writing to one of the addresses below within two months of the date of this response. email@example.com
Disclosure Team, MoJ, 10.38, 102 Petty France, London, SW1H 9AJ
You do have the right to ask the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to investigate any aspect of your
complaint. However, please note that the ICO is likely to expect internal complaints procedures to have
been exhausted before beginning their investigation.
London and South East Regional Support Unit | HM Courts and Tribunals Service
Ipswich Magistrates' Court
Recorders Alcohol Others3 TOTALS
< 3" Blade1
Ipswich Crown Court
1 Knives less than 3” are usually pen knives on key rings, or cutlery
2 Sharps include, for example, nail scissors, craft needles, steel combs, medical needles
3 Other items include any that court staff consider could be used as a weapon..
4 Statistics are from January to October 2017, only. Statistics for November 2017 are not available yet.
5 Liquids that are not soft drinks e.g. vape, perfume