Annex II: The complaints & appeals
1. If you think a police officer has behaved
incorrectly then you have a right to complain.
You should give details of when, where, what happened, what was
said, the police officers and witnesses involved, and whether
any proof exists of any damage or injury.
There is no time limit on making a complaint,
but if a year goes by the incident may not be investigated.
2. If your complaint is about a chief constable
you should contact your Police and Crime Commissioner. 
3. If your complaint is not about a chief
constable, contact the police force involved,
by e-mail, telephone or in person. A solicitor or your local MP
can also make a complaint on your behalf.
4. All valid complaints against the police
must be recorded, which means that it
has formal status 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.
5. The IPCC does not have the power to record
complaints. This must be done by the chief
officer or the Police and Crime Commissioner responsible. You
can send a complaint to the IPCC but it will be forwarded to the
relevant police force and the IPCC will not read or see your complaint.
Complaints are usually resolved by local resolution
or local investigation by the police force involved. There is
no limit on an investigation or local resolution, but you should
be updated every 28 days. Complaints can lead to an agreed resolution
(such as apology), internal misconduct proceedings, or criminal
proceedings. The IPCC only investigates the most serious complaints
referred to it by the police.
6. You may be able to appeal
if you are not happy with the outcome. Appeals may be directed
to the IPCC, the chief constable, or the police and crime commissioner.
You cannot appeal if the investigation into your complaint has
been managed or carried out independently by the IPCC.
7. You can appeal against a recording decision.
The IPCC will look at your case to see whether or not recording
your complaint was justified.
8. You can appeal against a local resolution.
In most circumstances, appeals against the outcome of the local
resolution process will be handled by the chief officer of the
9. You can appeal against a decision to disapply
a complaint, or the action taken after a decision to disapply,
either to a chief officer or to the IPCC, which must receive your
appeal within 29 days of the date of the letter telling you about
the outcome of the complaint.
10. You can appeal against a decision to discontinue
11. You can appeal against the police force's
decision about your complaint, either
to a chief officer or to the IPCC. Again, you will need to write
within 29 days.
Your appeal will either be "upheld"
or "not upheld". If your appeal is upheld, the appeal
body will tell you any instructions it has given to the police
force involved. If your appeal is not upheld, it will write to
you and explain why it did not uphold your appeal.
106 For London, read the Metropolitan Police Commissioner
and the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime. Back