Enter your town or postcode to see information from your local force

    Q299: How do I make a complaint against the police?

    If you want to make a complaint about the way that your case has been handled by the police, or about any policy or procedure then you should write to the Chief Constable of the Force or to the Divisional Commander for the particular police station.

    If your complaint is about a police officer or any member of police staff, then you need to attend at your local police station and ask to speak to a police inspector. You will need to give some very basic details to the person on the reception/ help desk so that the appropriate person can be contacted to deal with your complaint.

    Who can I complain about?

    • police officers
    • special constables
    • all police staff, including PCSOs, PEO staff, detention officers, traffic wardens, administrative staff

    Can anyone complain?

    • the victim
    • persons adversely affected
    • witnesses
    • anyone acting for any of the above, with their written consent unless it is a solicitor or MP
      through a gateway organisation
    • off duty staff from a different police force

    What types of complaints are there?

    • Public complaints about conduct
    • Serious Conduct, these will always be referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission ( )
    • Direction and Control Matters of strategy and policy
    • Structure and the organisation
    • Deployment of resources and use of budgets
    • Quality of service

    If you are not happy with the way your complaint against a police officer or a member of police staff has been handled, then you may be able to appeal through the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

    Independent Police Complaints Commission,
    90 High Holborn
    WC1V 6BH
    08453 002 002

    The following links give more information:

    Introduction to the IPCC

    A complaint can be made in languages other than English. Contact the IPCC for further details:

    The IPCC has established a multi-agency committee, the Learning the Lessons Committee, with the IPCC and NPCC, APA, HMIC , Home Office and NPIA as members and serviced by the IPCC. The purpose of this Committee is to collect and disseminate lessons from investigations under the police complaints system and it has launched a bulletin to this end.

    For more information please see the websites in related information. There is also link to the 'Help for Victims' website and a Youtube video guide to the website.

    How useful did you find the answer?

    Current answer rating

    StarStarHalf StarStarStarQuite useful

    Do you still need to contact the police?

    If you can't find the answer? Ask a question