Stop and Search and Use of Force

This page contains information about the use of Stop and Search and Use of Force by Surrey Police.

Stop and Search

Stop and Search is used by Surrey Police to help prevent crime. Using stop and search powers, an officer can conduct a basic search of your clothing, items you may be carrying or the vehicle that you are travelling in.

A police officer must always explain why you’re being stopped and why you’re being asked to account for your actions or presence in an area.

The Surrey Police website contains detailed information on the stop and search process, including why it is used, what to expect, and what your rights and responsibilities are.

You can also use the links below to explore the Force’s data on the number and outcomes of stop and searches in Surrey:

Have you been stopped and searched?

Our office and Surrey Police are committed to ensure every stop and search is carried out fairly and in line with the law and guidance, so that it has the support of the community.

As an intrusive power, it is important that any officer conducting a Stop and Search is respectful and that you are aware of your rights and responsibilities when it happens.

If you have been stopped and searched in Surrey, please take a moment to complete a short anonymous survey so that we can learn from your experience:

Read more information about how to provide feedback or complain about your experience.

Use of Force

The vast majority of incidents responded to by Surrey Police are resolved without any conflict. However it may sometimes be necessary for a police officer, or officers, to use force to protect yourself or others from harm.

Examples of Use of Force include taking hold of a person’s arm, using handcuffs, deploying a police dog or using a baton, irritant spray, Taser or firearm.

Use the link below to learn more about Use of Force in Surrey. The page also includes the latest data on Use Force by Surrey Police, such as the number of times it was used, why it was necessary and who it was used on.

Our scrutiny of Stop and Search and Use of Force

Stop and Search is an area that deserves a high level of scrutiny. This is critical to ensuring we build confidence in policing within every community in Surrey.

Our office scrutinises all aspects of Surrey Police performance including the number and circumstances of Stop and Search and Use of Force incidents, and the actions taken following any national recommendations that relate to either area.

External Scrutiny Panel

Both Stop and Search and Use of Force in Surrey are actively scrutinised by an independent External Scrutiny Panel that represents the diverse communities in Surrey.

The Panel is given regular access to Surrey Police records and meets every quarter to review stop and search data based on a rolling 12 month period. This includes a random selection of Stop and Search and use of Force forms completed by Surrey Police officers, in order to proactively identify learning to be passed on to those involved.

Half of both reviewed selections feature Stop and Search or Use of Force where an individual is identified by themselves or the police officer as Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic.

The Scrutiny Panel members also review Body Worn Video footage, and are regularly invited to join Surrey Police on active cases that may include the use of Stop & Search or Use of Force.

An internal Stop and Search scrutiny meeting follows those of the Panel, and is responsible for actively following up on identified learning to improve the service and reduce disproportionality.

Use the button below to see the most recent minutes from meetings of the External Scrutiny Panel:

Lay Observers Scheme

The Force also runs a Lay Observers’ Scheme which allows members of the public to accompany police officers on patrol to witness and feedback on the use of stop and search.

Surrey residents wishing to take part in the scheme are encouraged to contact Surrey Police with a short message including their full name, date of birth and address.

Our Data Hub

Our dedicated data hub contains information on a wide range of Surrey Police performance measures and progress against the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan that is updated regularly.

Latest News

“We are listening” – Commissioner thanks residents as ‘Policing Your Community’ roadshow highlights priorities for Force

Police and Crime Commissioner Lisa Townsend speaking at Policing your Community event in Woking

Commissioner Lisa Townsend said that listening to the views of residents and being their representative was the single most important part of her role.

“We must end acts of thoughtless brutality on swans – it’s time for tighter legislation on catapults”

A spate of catapult attacks on wild birds in Surrey has prompted fresh calls for tougher laws from the county's Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner.

Has romance turned to finance? You could be the victim of a fraudster, Commissioner warns

"Dangerous and emotionally manipulative" romance fraudsters stole £2.7million from victims in Surrey in 2023, the county's Commissioner has warned.