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.

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:

How to get involved

Ride Along scheme

The Ride Along 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 understanding and closeness between the police and the public.

Unfortunately due to the risks associated with Covid-19, we are not currently operating this scheme. We will update this page when the situation changes.

Stop and search independent scrutiny panel

We regularly host a stop and search scrutiny panel at our HQ in Lewes. It's made up of community members from across the county. The purpose is to:

  • improve the trust and confidence of communities
  • let the public quality assure for itself the use of stop and search powers in Sussex


You can email us to get involved, to get a copy of the panel's latest minutes or for its terms of reference.