Going Through Security at a Court or Tribunal Building

You must go through security every time you enter a court or tribunal building.
 
Allow extra time to go through security. You may have to queue between 9am and 10am on weekdays.
 
There are rules on what items you can take in.
 

Items you are not allowed to take in

You cannot take guns, firearms, knives or other weapons into the building.
 
You will be reported to the police if you try to take a weapon into a court or tribunal building.
 
You also cannot take in items that security staff think could be used as a weapon, even if you think they are harmless.
These include things like:
  • blades - such as scissors, penknives and razors
  • other sharp items - such as knitting needles and darts
  • glass - for example bottles
  • metal cutlery
  • syringes (unless you have a prescription)
  • toy guns and other things that look like guns
  • tools - for example screwdrivers, hammers and nails
  • ropes and chains
  • alcohol
  • liquids that are not drinks or prescription medicine - such as oils, perfumes lighter refills and cleaning products
  • full-length umbrellas
  • crash helmets
 

Items you can take in

You can take in phones and cameras, but you must not take photos or make videos with them.
 
You can bring in hand sanitiser. You will be asked to use it in front of security staff to prove it is not harmful.
 

Drinks

You can take in:
  • unopened drinks in cartons and cans
  • drinks in a plastic bottle or a disposable cup with a lid
 
If your drink is opened or in a plastic bottle, you will be asked to drink some to prove it is not harmful.
 

Medicines

You can take in prescription medicines. They must have the pharmacist label with your name and the date they were issued.
Security staff will check the label. They will not record or share the information. Find out how your personal information is used.
 

Going through security

Your bags and pockets will be checked like they would be at an airport. This may include:
  • emptying your pockets into a tray
  • taking off your shoes, coat, gloves or hat
  • letting security inspect your belt
  • walking through an archway detector or being checked with a handheld scanner
 
If you are wearing a head covering for religious or cultural reasons, you can ask for it to be checked with a handheld scanner so you do not have to take it off.
 

If you cannot take your items in with you

Security staff will keep any items you cannot take into the building and give you a receipt. You can usually use this to collect your items when you leave.
 

Knives

If you have a knife, you will not be able to collect this when you leave. You will need to write to the court within 28 days instead. The letter must include:
  • your first and last name
  • your address
  • the date and time the knife was taken by security
  • a description of the knife
  • your receipt number
 
You will usually get your items back within a month after the court receives your letter.
Someone acting on your behalf can write the letter for you, such as your solicitor or guardian. They should include their name and address when they send it.
 

Make a complaint

You can complain about how you were treated if you are unhappy about the way a security search was carried out.
 
For further information: