Published Wednesday, 25 September 2013
Police have the power to use the controversial tactic on anyone they suspect may be carrying weapons or transmission devices.
The number of searches in Derry is high, as is the dissident threat, with up to five operations per day in the Foyle area - more than any other district in Northern Ireland.
One local man, Stephen Ramsey, has kept a record of the number of time he's been searched in the last five years and said it amounts to harassment.
"I can understand people coming from that point of view but if you look at my record I've never been charged with anything," said Mr Ramsey.
It just boils down to me being a republican.
"Never has anything been found in all my searches since 2008."
Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin, the city's most senior PSNI officer, said stop and search is a necessary tool in the battle again dissident violence.
He explained: "Stop and search is one of the ways in which we try and constrain them and try and thwart those involved in those actions by trying to catch them in possession of what is legally term munitions, which really means guns or bombs.
"Anything they might use to carry out acts of violence."
The use of stop and search was suspended after the Court of Appeal ruled it unlawful because of an absence of a Code of Practice - guidelines on how police conduct the searches.
But they have started again now that one has been drawn up.
Stephen Ramsey, who is from a republican family and says he has no links to paramilitaries, has begun a judicial review to test if the Code of Practice is illegal.
"Somebody has to fight," he continued.
"You just can't lie down and let them get on with it. These people think it's fun, this is supposed to be their job. It's not fun to me or my family."
However, unless the courts dictate otherwise, police will persist with stop and search as long as the dissident republican campaign continues.
Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin added: "We want to police a peaceful society, we don't want to be poling a violent society where there is a risk this type of crime will be carried out.
"So remove the threat and these measures will be removed in the courts also."
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