The police can stop and search people to detect certain types of crime to help make our neighbourhoods safer. The successful use of stop and search means there are fewer victims of crime and more crimes are detected.
In the West Midlands, stop searches are only carried out where there are proper grounds to do so. You will not be stopped and searched just because of your age, colour, hairstyle, the way you dress, etc.
If you are stopped by the police it does not necessarily mean you are doing anything wrong. You may fit the description of someone the officers are seeking in connection with a crime, or they may suspect you of carrying stolen goods, drugs or something you could use to commit a crime or an item that could be used as a weapon.
If you are stopped and searched the officers will try to be sensitive, discreet and quick - they will do their best not to embarrass or delay you unnecessarily. If you are in a public place, the officer can only ask you to take off your coat or jacket or gloves.
If you are stopped:
You do not have to give your name, address or date of birth to the police if you’re stopped and searched unless you are being reported for an offence.
You may be asked to describe your ethnic origin. You do not have to give this information, but we ask the question so we can monitor the stopping of ethnic minorities and encourage police accountability.
You should not be stopped or searched just because of your age, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, the way you dress or because you’ve committed a crime in the past.
If you believe you were stopped and searched unreasonably, or you weren’t treated fairly or with respect, you can complain to:
West Midlands Police take feedback on stop and search very seriously and regularly review their policy in the light of public feedback. You can comment on your experience at rate your local police or email in your comments on the policy to firstname.lastname@example.org.