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.

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).
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.

Road Traffic Incidents

Road traffic incident study

Fatalities arising from road traffic incidents (RTIs) involving police vehicles make up the largest single group of deaths following police contact and are therefore a significant proportion of cases referred to the IPCC. Over recent years there has been concern over these incidents amongst the police and the general public. However, while specific cases can lead to much media attention there is very little robust evidence available to inform public debate. The IPCC felt that it was important to analyse these cases in more detail and have conducted a study to examine a range of the most serious incidents that have occurred over recent years and have sought to identify lessons for policy and practice.

Under the Police Reform Act 2002 police forces have a statutory duty to refer all incidents involving a death or serious injury to the IPCC; we therefore have a large dataset of completed investigation reports to draw on. The study aimed to establish the extent of road traffic incidents involving the police which have resulted in a fatality or serious injury; to report on the extent to which these occur in relation to police pursuits, responses to emergency calls or other police activity; to establish trend information on these incidents; and to examine the circumstances surrounding incidents leading to serious injury or death. As well as analysing the types of RTI cases referred to the IPCC, the study collated over a hundred complete investigation reports. The emerging trends and issues have been used to make recommendations for police forces and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). The report has been laid before parliament under section 11 of the Police Reform Act 2002 and can be found below:

Police Road Traffic Incidents: A Study of police-related road traffic and driving deaths and serious Injuries (pdf 1.15mb)

Since the publication of the research, the IPCC has been working closely with ACPO and road safety campaign groups to improve police pursuit policy. The ACPO guidelines have been revised and in May 2011 it was announced that they now have the force of law. Our investigations team will be taking part in awareness sessions relating to the codification of the guidelines. This will enable them to utilise the guidelines fully in investigations into police road traffic incidents. In addition, we are maintaining contact with stakeholder groups that have been involved in the process to date.

Code of practice on the management of police pursuits.

Civilian fatalities following police related road traffic incidents - England & Wales

Financial Year

Pursuit related

​Emergency response 'Other incidents' ​ Total fatalities ​
​2004/05 ​23 ​6 ​15 ​44
​2005/06 ​32 ​4 ​12 ​48
​2006/07 ​19 ​3 ​14 ​36
​2007/08 ​17 ​2 ​5 ​24
​2008/09 ​22 ​6 ​12 ​40
​2009/10 ​19 3 7 29
​2010/11 ​13 ​4 ​9 ​26
​2011/12 ​11 ​2 ​5 ​18

Sources:

Deaths during or following police contact: Statistics for England and Wales annual reports.

Previous PCA research

2 March 2004
Police pursuits in Wales (pdf 150k)
The results from a one-year monitoring exercise in the four Welsh police forces, 2002-2003. This report follows on from the Fatal Pursuit report from 2002

2 March 2004
Following Fatal Pursuit (pdf 244k)
An investigation of serious Road Traffic Incidents (RTIs) involving the police, 2001-2002. This report follows on from the Fatal Pursuit report from 2002

June 2002
Fatal Pursuit (pdf 164k)
A study of fatal incidents arising from pursuit and other high-speed driving.

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.

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).
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.