Stop & Search

The West Midlands Commissioner's Police and Crime Plan includes a commitment to introduce new oversight mechanisms for Stop and Search, which it is recognised can be a source of tension between the police and public they serve.

West Midlands Police has overhauled its use of the controversial "stop and search" power − leading to an increase in its effectiveness across the region. 

As one of the launch forces for the Home Office's "best use of stop and search" scheme last summer, WMP has introduced a raft of measures to improve its use of the power.

Central to the changes is the stop and search mapping scheme. The initiative allows the public to see exactly where this important power is used and what the outcome of every stop and search is.

It means for the first time people in the West Midlands force area can see details like the ethnicity and the age range of those who are stopped and searched.

Stop and Search: Know Your Rights

You or a vehicle that you are in can be stopped and searched if a police officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that you are carrying drugs, weapons, stolen property, or items that could be used to commit a crime.

The officer searching you must explain why you are being searched, what they are looking for, and what law you are being searched under.  They must tell you their name or ID (or "collar") number and the police station where they are based.  The police officer must offer you a receipt with details of the search.

The police officer will ask you to identify your ethnicity within preset categories.  This allows the public and the police to monitor whether stop and search powers are being used fairly, proportionately and effectively. 

The police officer should treat you respectfully, professionally and with dignity throughout the search.  For more information about stop and search, see this leaflet.

Stop and Search Action Plan

The Police and Crime Commissioner hosted a Stop and Search Summit on 20 September 2013, including speakers from a range of organisations and the chance for attendees to have their say about stop and search.

From this, and building on work already underway, a new stop and search action plan was developed, which was open to public consultation through November and December 2013.  The outcome of the consultation was published in January 2014.  For more information, click here.

As part of the joint Force/PCC Stop and Search Action Plan, West Midlands PCC David Jamieson and Assistant Police & Crime Commissioner, Ashley Bertie, will meet with representatives from each of the stop and search scrutiny panels every six months.  The purpose of these meetings is for the Office of the West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner to hear from the stop and search scrutiny panel members about the work the panels do, facilitate discussion about issues relating to stop and search and offer a briefing and update on Force and national issues relating to stop and search.

The next Stop & Search Commission will be held in Wednesday 7 June 2017

If you have any questions or require any information regarding the commission, please contact Saba Kayani on or Tel no: 0121 626 5318.

Getting involved: Stop and Search Scrutiny Panels

West Midlands Police runs ten stop and search scrutiny panels across the West Midlands. Here Sergeant Iftekhar Ahmed describes the work of his panel:

The panels meet regularly to oversee and scrutinise how West Midlands Police uses stop and search powers.  For more information please contact your local co-ordinator:

Background information

Stop and search has been the subject of various policies, reports and research.  Click here for more information.

Been stopped and searched? Tell us how it went

If you have been stopped and searched, you can tell the Police and Crime Commissioner and West Midlands Police how it went.  Click here.

Later we will be exploring options to allow people to access their stop and search records and view online information about how West Midlands Police uses stop and search powers.