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1. Under what circumstances can the police enter and search my home or office?

Power of Entry and Search


The police can enter and search any premises with a warrant issued by a Magistrate. In order to obtain such a search warrant, the police must generally provide evidence on oath to the Magistrate to show that there is a reasonable cause to suspect that there is any article or document in any building or place which is likely to be of value to the investigation of any offence. Under the warrant, the police may break into the premises if necessary. While the search is being carried out, the police may also detain any person who may have such articles or documents in his possession or control in order to prevent any hindrance to the search (section 50(7) of the Police Force Ordinance).


The police can also enter and search any premises without a warrant , if they have reason to believe that a person to be arrested is inside the premises.


For the cases concerning the National Security Law, the police can enter and search a premise without a warrant under the authorisation of a police officer not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police. The police officer can authorise such search when they believe that anything that is or contains evidence of an offence endangering national security is in place, the evidence is necessary for national security or for the protection of anyone’s safety, and it is not reasonably practicable to obtain a warrant.


Otherwise the police have no general power to enter into private premises without the consent of the owner or occupant.