The IPCC would like to improve the way it carries out investigations. To help us do this, we have asked NatCen, an independent research organisation, to speak to police personnel about their experiences of completed independent IPCC investigations of cases involving a death. If you have experience of such an investigation and would like to take part in this research please read this information.
This section provides information about the police complaints system for police officers and police staff.
It explains the role of the IPCC in relation to police officers and police staff, and sets out the aims that the Police Federation, PCS, UNISON and the IPCC share for the police complaints system.
We have also produced a guide that explains what you should do if you receive a complaint , an interactive PDF and a poster. To order copies of the leaflet please complete this form.
The IPCC oversees the whole of the police complaints system. It is independent, making its decisions entirely independently of the police, government and complainants.
Police forces deal directly with most complaints against their officers and staff, while the IPCC investigates the most serious complaints, incidents and allegations of misconduct. Both deal with appeals from people who are not satisfied with the way their complaint has been dealt with.
The IPCC also has an oversight and public confidence role, which involves monitoring the way complaints are handled by local police services. This ensures that the lessons learned from complaints and investigations are fed back into operational policing.
Additionally, the Learning the Lessons Committee helps the police service improve by learning from investigations and other operations of the police complaints / conduct system. The Committee produces bulletins three times a year, which are available on the Learning the Lessons website.
manage or supervise a police investigation into a complaint
independently investigate the most serious complaints and incidents
issue Statutory Guidance to forces and local policing bodies on complaint handling
analyse information from cases and research complaint trends
use call-in powers for the most serious cases
promote access to the complaints system by working with voluntary and community organisations
use its monitoring and oversight function
work in partnership with the police service to drive forward improvements
The IPCC has a statutory duty to secure and maintain public confidence in the police complaints system in England and Wales. The guidance has an important part to play in this. It is one of the ways in which we assist local forces and policing bodies to comply with their legal obligations and achieve high standards in the handling of complaints, conduct and death and serious injury (DSI) matters.
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