Stop and search is a policing power used by police officers to stop and search members of the public who are suspected to be carrying stolen or prohibited articles or offensive weapons.
Essex Police has a clear vision for stop and search - to gain the trust and confidence of the community in its use as a tactic for keeping everyone safe.
Stop and search is a vital tactic in combating crime, disrupting offenders, gathering intelligence and avoiding the unnecessary detention of individuals.
Around one in 10 of Essex Police stop and searches result in an arrest. We have a duty to exercise our power with consideration, being careful not to undermine public trust and confidence.

Positive, professional encounters

We place a real emphasis on high-quality stop and search encounters, remembering the person stopped may have not been so previously or even been spoken to before by a police officer. The aim is for the person to end the encounter with a positive and professional impression of Essex Police.
Stop and search is a very real deterrent to crime. We know from public feedback our Essex communities support us when it is used fairly, openly and professionally. It can have a particular impact upon deterring people from carrying knives.
Essex Police wants to ensure at all times our officers use stop and search professionally, fairly and appropriately to the satisfaction of all those stopped and the powers are used effectively and efficiently with the full confidence and support of our public.

How are we performing?

We publish several reports about stop and search performance which provides details, amongst other information, of the amount of stop and search which have taken place within each district and the amount of positive outcomes relating to those searches.

Have your say

To better use these powers and engage further with the people of Essex we want you to let us know what you think.
Essex Police wants your feedback so we can work with you to ensure we continue to use the powers to the satisfaction of all our citizens in order to make our streets and communities safer. We are always looking to improve the service we deliver to residents of our county and want to know how you feel about stop and search.
Therefore, if you have been stopped and searched, please complete our anonymous survey to let us know how you feel you were treated and how we can do things better.

Making a complaint

On this page you will find further information which explains your rights entitlements during a stop and search and what you should expect from the police officers concerned.
If, after reading this information, you are still dissatisfied about the way in which you were stopped and searched please see our guidance on how to make a complaint. You can make a complaint in the following ways:

Or you can complain in writing to:
Professional Standards Department
Essex Police Headquarters
Springfield Road