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.
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've decided to treat every complaint as a community trigger. This means all complaints require us to answer to the community scrutiny group and explain it.
Alternatives to a formal complaint
To raise an issue about something that has caused you concern, or was done well, it may be worth giving feedback. This might be particularly useful if you've witnessed something where, because you were not directly affected, you feel reluctant to make a formal contact, but you still feel unhappy, or pleased, about the way you've seen police officers behave.