Access to our service and what you can expect from us
We will treat everyone who contacts us politely, promptly, and equally. As an independent organisation we will use our powers set out in the Police Reform Act 2002 fairly and reasonably.
The IPCC aims to be accessible. If you have a specific health condition, communication or access need, we do our best to provide a service that meets your requirements.
Our approach to this is outlined in our Making Reasonable Adjustments policy (August 2011) .
Details on the IPCC Single Equality Scheme are available in the IPCC Resources Section.
The length of time for us to carry out our casework or investigations may vary depending on the nature of the case, the right information being available to us and the demand in work at any given time. When considering a case we will keep you updated and informed. Our performance targets are published annually in our annual reports.
We strive to respond to information requests made to the IPCC within the timescales set out in the Freedom of Information Act 2000 which is 20 working days and under the Data Protection Act 1998 which is 40 calendar days for Subject Access Requests.
Communicating with you
We will be polite, professional and treat you with respect. We understand that due to the nature of our work sometimes people who contact us might be frustrated, upset and even angry and we are committed to providing a fair and accessible service to all. However, the IPCC has a responsibility to protect the safety and welfare of its staff and will not accept abusive, aggressive or otherwise threatening behaviour directed towards its staff.
If you make a complaint or appeal to the IPCC, or if the IPCC is involved in investigating your case, you will given direct contact details for the appropriate member of staff. If the person you need to speak to is not available, you can leave a voicemail to request a call back or you can contact our Customer Service Team, who will aim to either resolve your query or put you in touch with the relevant team.
You can contact our customer service team between 9am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday (not including public holidays). We aim to acknowledge email customer service enquiries within two working days, and to provide a full response within ten working days. All phone messages will normally be returned by the end of the next working day.
The IPCC does not operate a face-to-face service – please note if you do visit our offices you should not expect to be seen by a member of staff. We will mainly communicate with you in writing, or by phone. For our joint protection and for training purposes calls may be recorded.
In order for us to manage our work effectively and provide a fair service to all it may be necessary for us to limit the frequency of contact or the method by which we communicate with our customers. This is in line with our policy on Managing Customer Contact. However, this would apply only in certain circumstances.
An act of parliament that provides the core framework of police powers to combat crime and provide codes of practice for the exercise of these powers.
Leads and manages the development of the police service in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The body that represents the interests of all police constables, sergeants, and inspectors.
Department within a police force that deals with complaints and conduct matters.
The average is calculated using the individual results of the forces in that most similar force group.
An investigation carried out by IPCC staff.
Carried out by the police under their own direction and control. The IPCC sets the terms of reference and receives the investigation report when it is complete. Complainants have a right of appeal following a supervised investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
This act sets out how the police complaints system operates.
How a police force is run, for example policing standards or policing policy.
An investigation carried out by the police under the direction and control of the IPCC.
An intelligence-led agency with law enforcement powers, it is also responsible for reducing the harm that is caused to people and communities by serious organised crime.
Investigations carried out entirely by the police. Complainants have a right of appeal following a local investigation (unless it is an investigation into a direction and control matter).
A person is adversely affected is he or she suffers any form of loss or damage, distress or inconvenience, if he or she is put in danger or is otherwise unduly put at risk of being adversely affected.
IPCC guidance to the police service and police authorities on the handling of complaints.
Parameters within which an investigation is conducted.
This could be the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Common Council for the City of London, or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.
A flexible process for dealing with complaints that can be adapted to the needs of the complainant. It may involve, for example, providing information and explanation, an apology, or a meeting between the complainant and the officer complained about.
Consists of a chair, two deputy chairs, and commissioners – each responsible for specific police forces, guardianship work and individual cases.
Disapplication means that a police force may handle a complaint in whatever manner it thinks fit, including not dealing with it under complaints legislation. This may only take place in certain limited circumstances where the complaint fits one or more of the grounds for disapplication set out in law.
The ending of an ongoing investigation into a complaint, conduct matter or DSI matter. An investigation may only be discontinued if it meets one or more of the grounds for discontinuance set out in law.
Used to house anyone who has been detained.
Complainants have the right to appeal to the IPCC if a police force did not record their complaint or notify the correct police force if it was made originally to the wrong force.
The purpose of an investigation is to establish the facts behind a complaint, conduct matter, or DSI matter; and reach conclusions. An investigator looks into a complaint and produces a report that details the outcome of each allegation. There are four types of investigation: local investigation, supervised investigation, managed investigation and independent investigation.
A person who makes a complaint about the conduct of someone serving with the police.
The type of behaviour being complained about. A single complaint case can have one or many allegations attached.
An independent judicial officer, the coroner enquires into deaths reported to him/her.
A record is made of a complaint, giving it formal status as a complaint under the Police Reform Act 2002.
No further action may be taken with regard to a complaint if the complainant decides to retract their allegation(s).
Casework involves assessing appeals. Casework staff also have a role in overseeing the police complaints system to help ensure police forces handle complaints in the best possible way.
The IPCC must be notified about specific types of complaint or incidents to be able to decide how they should be dealt with.
Conduct includes acts, omissions, statements and decisions (whether actual, alleged or inferred). For example: language used and the manner or tone of communications.
An application by a complainant for a police decision to be reviewed.