Complaints against members of the police service

If you wish to make a complaint against a member of a Police Force or against the organisation itself you can do so by either contacting the Force directly or make your complaint via the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The 'make a complaint' section on the IPCC website includes links to the complaints section of each police force website in England and Wales. Alternatively, you can use the IPCC online complaint form, which will be forwarded automatically to the relevant police force.

In certain situations, police forces or relevant organisations must refer complaints to the IPCC – these are serious complaints such as those involving death, serious assault or a serious sexual offence. You can find out more about when and why the IPCC may become involved in a complaint on our 'referrals' page.

There is no time limit for making a complaint, although you should try to do it as quickly as possible. The police force or relevant organisation can decide not to deal with a complaint if it is received more than 12 months after the incident. If you are complaining more than 12 months after an incident you should explain why your complaint has been delayed. The police force will need to consider your explanation when they decide whether to deal with the complaint.

Police forces or relevant organisations are expected to take all complaints seriously, to listen to you and to act in a fair and balanced way to seek to put things right.

Further details of the complaints system can be found by referring to the IPCC Statutory Guidance.

Each year since 2004/05 the IPCC has published statistics on complaints recorded by police forces in England and Wales. Prior to 2004/05, these statistics were published by the Home Office.

The IPCC also produce quarterly performance data for all police forces in England and Wales.
The complaints statistics reports include information about the number and type of complaints made by members of the public. They also set out how these complaints were subsequently dealt with and include demographic data about who complained and who was subject to a complaint.

Annual police complaints statistics | Independent Police Complaints Commission

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