The information on this page relates to complaints received by the police force before 22 November 2012.
If your complaint was received on or after 22 November 2012, your appeal will be handled under a different system.
This is because of changes to the complaints system which apply from 22 November 2012. Please click here for the information you will need.
How should the police deal with a complaint?
Can I appeal to the IPCC about my complaint not being recorded?
How do I make an appeal and by when?
How will the IPCC deal with my appeal?
What should I do if I need more advice?
You can find out more information in the appealing against a non-recording key facts sheet.
Under the Police Reform Act 2002, each police force in England and Wales has a duty to either record your complaint or tell you why it has decided not to record your complaint under the Act.
If you made your complaint to the wrong police force or police authority, the force you complained to must pass your complaint to the correct police force or police authority.
If you tried to make a complaint about the conduct of a person serving with the police and the police did not record the complaint, you may be able to appeal to the IPCC. We will look at your case to see whether not recording your complaint was justified under the Police Reform Act 2002.
Yes, you can appeal to the IPCC if:
the police did not make a decision about your complaint
the police did not record your complaint
the police force or police authority you complained to failed to pass your complaint to the correct police force or police authority (the one you complained about).
The police must make a decision about whether to record your complaint or whether it is the correct police force or police authority to handle your complaint.
We expect police forces to decide whether a complaint should be recorded and tell you their decision within 15 working days. You can appeal to the IPCC if you do not hear from the police force within this time.
Police forces have a duty to record complaints about the conduct of a person serving with the police. However, they do not have to record a complaint if:
it is already part of another complaint that has been (or is being) dealt with through criminal or disciplinary proceedings
the complaint was made before, but then withdrawn by the person who made it
the complaint was made before, but the IPCC gave permission for it not to be dealt with by the police force or police authority under the Police Reform Act 2002
the complaint was about ‘direction and control’. We cannot deal with complaints about the overall policies of a police force – known as ‘direction and control’ complaints. This includes, for example, complaints about operational policing policies, decisions about police resources (such as where officers and staff should be located), or general policing standards in your area. If your complaint is about direction and control it will be dealt with by the relevant police force under a separate system
the complaint was made by someone serving with the police
the complaint is not covered by the Police Reform Act 2002
the complaint is about the outcome of a previous complaint investigation
If you made your complaint to the wrong police force or police authority, the police force you complained to must pass your complaint to the correct police force or police authority. They must confirm to you in writing that they have done this.
Use the IPCC’s online non-recording appeal form.
Save the Word version of the appeal form to your computer, complete it and email it to the IPCC - NorthCasework@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk
Print off, complete and post the PDF version of the appeal form to the IPCC.
Contact us to request a hard copy
Please return the completed Word version or PDF version of the appeal form by post, fax or email to: Post: IPCC, PO BOX 473, Sale M33 0BW.Fax: 020 7166 3306Email: NorthCasework@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk
We must receive your appeal within 28 days of the date of the letter you received from the police force telling you that your complaint was not recorded. This includes the time your appeal spends in the post.
If you do not send your appeal to the IPCC within 28 days, we do not have to consider your appeal.
We may be able to extend this time period if you have very special circumstances and you can fully explain your reasons for asking for an extension. We may also be able to extend this time period if the police force failed to tell you what they were going to do about your complaint.
We will send you a letter to tell you we have received your appeal form.
We will also contact the relevant police force or authority to tell them you have appealed. The police force/police authority will be sent a copy of your appeal and we will ask them for any information they have about your complaint and subsequent appeal.
Once we have received all the information we will assess your appeal and make a decision about it.
Please note that during the appeals process, we will not investigate your original complaint; we will review the process that led to your complaint not being recorded.
If your appeal is upheld, we will instruct the chief police officer or police authority about what they should do about your complaint. They must follow these instructions. We will tell you in writing about the instructions we have given and explain what happens next.
Please note that this is a decision only about whether your complaint should be recorded, not about whether the substance of your complaint is upheld.
If your appeal is not upheld, we will write to you explaining how and why we made this decision.
You can contact a local advice organisation, such as a Citizens Advice Bureau. You can also talk to a legal advisor.
Get in touch with the IPCC for advice about the appeals process, if you have difficulty filling in the online or paper form, or if you need to obtain the form in another language or format.
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