Former Archbishop of York Lord Sentamu has helped defeat the Government over a proposed new search power for police after speaking about his own experience of being stopped.

The independent crossbencher was among peers at Westminster who backed by 215 votes to 177, majority 38, a demand for parliamentary approval before a nationwide rollout of serious violence reduction orders (SVROs), following a force pilot.

It came amid concerns over the controversial provision contained in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, aimed at making it easier for police to carry out checks on people who have previously been convicted of carrying a knife.

Speaking in the upper chamber, Lord Sentamu said he had been stopped and searched “a number of times” when he lived in London.

He told peers: “I declare an interest – when I was vicar of Tulse Hill in south London, where I was for 14 years, I was stopped and searched a number of times. And when I asked the police why – particularly when I didn’t have my dog collar as a vicar, because I’d gone to B&Q to get some paint to decorate our house – they wanted to make sure that those tins of paint had not been stolen.

“I had to produce a receipt and then I was let go but there were other occasions. It wasn’t just a one-off.”

When bishop of Stepney, he had also been stopped by an officer as he drove home with his wife one evening and was made to open the boot of his car.

He said: “And as I was coming up from whatever I was opening, he suddenly saw my dog collar and the purple shirt and he went ‘whoops’.”

Proposing changes to the legislation, independent crossbencher Baroness Meacher said “they ensure that SVROs can be introduced only if Parliament is satisfied on the basis of the evidence from the pilot that they will reduce serious violent crime and that the consequences for the human rights of individuals and communities are proportionate and justified”.

She added: “Suppose the pilot reveals that SVROs fail to stem serious violence and breach individuals’ human rights in unacceptable ways. Clearly, SVROs should not be rolled out in that context. ”

Liberal Democrat Lord Paddick, who was a deputy assistant commissioner in the Metropolitan Police, said: “We need to be sure that these orders will not be counterproductive.”

He added: “If the Government insist on proceeding with this dreadful measure, they should at least limit the damage until they are sure that it will not make matters worse.”

Labour frontbencher Lord Coaker said: “If these orders are to go ahead, the crucial thing is to ensure the pilot the Government says it is going to carry out is absolutely right and make sure it is not just a tick box exercise.”

Backing the call for safeguards, he added: “It will provide parliamentary scrutiny and allow Parliament to then make a decision on whether these orders work and should be rolled out.”

Responding, Home Office minister Baroness Williams of Trafford said the orders would be introduced on the basis of a targeted pilot by Sussex, Thames Valley, Merseyside and West Midlands police forces.

Seeking to reassure peers, she said: “We want the pilot of SVROs to be robust and its evaluation to be thorough before any decision is made to roll them out across England and Wales.

“We make no assumption now about the success or otherwise of the pilot, but I don’t see any reason to depart from the normal position that commencement regulations are not subject to parliamentary procedure.”

The Government had already suffered an earlier defeat to the Bill, which contains wide-ranging measures aimed at overhauling the criminal justice system.

The Lords backed by 198 votes to 163, majority 35, a move to ensure that local authorities can set up and run secure academies for young offenders.