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.
We treat every complaint as a community trigger. This means all complaints we get are reviewed by our Community Cohesion Group and discussed with independent advisory groups and community forums to allow public scrutiny and feedback. This lets us identify action we need to take.
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.
We are no longer accepting applications for the stop and search Ride Along Scheme. The purpose of the scheme was to allow members of the public to see stop and search encounters conducted by the police so they can improve their understanding of the process and see a stop and search encounters first-hand but when participating in the ride along we could not guarantee that a stop search encounter would occur.
Police Officers are now required to use Body Worn Video to record interactions with the public where they are using their police powers and this includes stop and search encounters.
Members of the public can now attend their local police station and review stop and search encounters recorded by the police at Community Cohesion Group meetings.
If you are interested in learning more about the police use of stop and search and would like to participate please get in touch using the details below.
Scrutiny panels take place throughout the year. These are when our IAG (Independent Advisory Group) meets Police and Crime Commissioner staff to scrutinise stop and search forms.
Please email us to ask about the results of these scrutiny panels.
In addition to the Independent Advisory Group, each Local Policing Unit (LPU) has a Community Cohesion Group (CCG) where the local public meet with the local police to scrutinise how the police use their powers such as Stop and Search.
We also have a quarterly Police Accountability Meeting which is independently chaired. This meeting takes account of the public’s view of how we use powers, deliver training to officers and review force policy regarding stop and search (and other powers).
To get involved in your local Community Cohesion Group, the Police Accountability meeting or the Independent Advisory Group please email us.