Search warrants give the police (or sometimes other law enforcement officers like Customs Officers) the power to enter into a property to search for items listed in the warrant.

A search warrant is a document that gives a law enforcement officer a lawful power to enter a property and to search. Search warrants are issued under the Search and Surveillance Act 2012.

The warrant will describe the property that is to be searched and what the officers are searching for.

If there is a warrant to search a house the search power will extend to searching everyone who is on the property, this includes people who arrive at the property while the search is taking place. If there are vehicles parked on the property (for example on the driveway) these can also be searched.

After executing the search warrant an officer must provide a copy of the warrant document and a list of all items seized as a result of the search.

If the warrant was not properly obtained or if the police do not follow the conditions of the warrant the search could be unlawful. This can be a reason to exclude evidence at trial.