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.

There are options available for giving feedback:

You can:

How to get involved

Join the Community Scrutiny Group

The Community Scrutiny Group monitors how we use stop and search and highlights where we can and should make improvements. It meets quarterly.

The Group will:

  • discuss the latest stop and search figures
  • scrutinise a random selection of paperwork completed for officers


The Group is made up of diverse members of the public and we’re looking for new members. If you’re interested, please contact us.

Community Engagement Patrol Scheme

The Community Engagement Patrol Scheme offers members of the public the opportunity to accompany our officers on patrol and experience first hand how stop and search may be used.

The scheme enables two-way learning and helps create greater transparency, understanding and closeness between the police and the public.

To take part, you must be:

  • 18 years old or over
  • willing to be vetted so we can make sure you're a suitable applicant
  • willing to give us feedback after your patrol


To apply, please complete our online Community Engagement Patrol Scheme application form.