Your complaint will usually be dealt with more quickly if you make it direct to the police force concerned.
Contact the police force involved – many force websites have online complaint forms.
You can also attend a police station in person.
Use the IPCC’s online complaint form. Your complaint will be forwarded to the relevant police force automatically, and the IPCC will not read or see your complaint.
Print off, complete and post the complaint form to the police force involved.
Complete the complaint form, save it and email it to the police force concerned.
Contact a solicitor or your MP, who can make a complaint on your behalf.
Call the IPCC on 0300 020 0096 (press 1 at the prompt) between 9.00am - 5.00pm for advice.
If your complaint is about a chief constable or the Commissioner of the Metropolitan police force, you should contact the relevant Police and Crime Commissioner or the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime in London.
By law all valid complaints against the police must be recorded. Recording a complaint means that it has formal status under the Police Reform Act 2002. It must then be dealt with according to formal rules and guidance.
The IPCC does not have the power to record complaints – this must be done by the appropriate authority. The appropriate authority can be:
the chief officer of the police force
the Police and Crime Commissioner responsible for the police force you complained about
the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (if your complaint is about the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service)
the Common Council for the City of London (if your complaint is about the Commissioner of the City of London police).
If you make your complaint via the IPCC we must forward the complaint to the appropriate authority for recording. The IPCC will not investigate the complaint and the details will be passed to the appropriate authority for them to consider.
Even if your complaint is so serious that the IPCC may be involved in investigating it (see ‘who will deal with my complaint?’) it still needs to be forwarded to the appropriate authority to be recorded.
There are certain special circumstances where we may not forward your complaint to the appropriate authority to be recorded. We take this decision very seriously and it applies only to the most serious situations. For example, if forwarding the complaint could mean that the complainant would be at risk of loss of life or physical harm, or where national security would be in danger.
If you feel that there are special circumstances that mean we should not forward your complaint to the appropriate authority concerned, please contact us.
A PDF version of the information on this page is available here.
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