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.

You can also tell us about your stop and search experience by completing this quick online survey.

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.

Ask a question or make a suggestion by emailing us.

How to get involved

Ride Along scheme

Please note: the Ride Along Scheme is currently not taking place due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) social distancing guidance.

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.

To take part in the scheme you must:

  • be a resident in the Northamptonshire Police area
  • be aged 18 or above (people 16 or above may take part under certain circumstances)
  • undergo criminal record checks; if you have previous convictions, we'll consider your involvement on a case-by-case basis
  • sign a disclaimer and confidentiality agreement form
  • sign and agree to the terms of an observer briefing form

To apply, please fill in our online application form. Alternatively, you can download the form below and post it to:

Ride Along scheme
Northamptonshire Police Headquarters
Wootton Hall Park

Reasonable Grounds Panel

The Reasonable Grounds Panel allows you to influence the way we use stop and search.

If you're a member of a community group that wants to get involved in this process, please email us and tell us:

  • your name
  • your phone number
  • the group you represent
  • the town your group is based in

We'll get back to you with further details.

Stop and Search Working Group

You can get involved with the police and community working group that monitors the use of stop and search powers in Northamptonshire.

The group meets every four to six weeks and members of the community can share their views and provide feedback about their experience of stop and search or those of the people they represent.

We would particularly like to involve more young people and those from minority communities.

To find out more, please email us.