Being stopped and searched can be an unpleasant experience, no matter the approach of the police officers involved. But if it’s felt that there has been unnecessary force or an inappropriate attitude, then we'd like to hear about it and, where necessary, act upon it. Likewise, we welcome any suggestions or positive comments you’d like to share.

Tell us about your experience of being stopped by the police

If you feel you’ve had an unpleasant or unsatisfactory experience, you may wish to make a formal complaint. You can do so if you think a police officer has behaved incorrectly or unfairly. For example, if you think an officer has:

  • been rude to you
  • used excessive force
  • abused your rights
  • arrested you unlawfully

All complaints are investigated and this can take time. 

To make a formal complaint and for more information about how complaints are investigated, read our complaints pages. If you've had a positive experience, you can offer us feedback.

The Home Office's Best use of stop and search scheme requires police forces to have a community complaints trigger in place, particularly where there are a large number of complaints about stop and search. If the trigger is reached, police forces have to explain their use of their stop and search powers to community groups.

We receive very few stop and search complaints, so we treat every complaint as a Community Trigger. This means all complaints are:

  • reviewed by our Professional Standards department
  • discussed by the Strategic Stop Search Working Group

The Strategic Stop Search Working Group includes local police officers, independent advisory group members (IAGs) and community forums, if necessary, to allow public scrutiny and feedback.

How to get involved

Ride-along scheme

We also operate a ride-along scheme, where members of the public accompany a patrol and observe everyday police activities.

The scheme is not currently taking new applicants, but please email us to check when it will.