How can I make a complaint against the police?

20th Dec 2015

If a person is not satisfied with the way they have been treated by the police or the way the police have acted during an investigation, how can the person make an official complaint against the police?

CATEGORY: Criminal

1 answer
  • Anyone who feels that they have been treated unfairly by the police has the right to act upon their concerns. The action that is required in order to deal with complaints varies on the nature of the complaint. For example, if the police have obtained evidence in a way that breaks their code of practice, it is possible that the evidence cannot be used in court, and a solicitor or barrister will be able to make the court aware of such concerns.

    Alternatively, if a complaint revolves around the way in which the police have treated an individual or incident, there is a police complaints procedure that may be followed. In order to make a complaint, individuals should contact the police force involved. Details of individual forces are available at the IPCC website (Independent Police Complaints Commission) or by visiting a local police station and raising concerns with the duty officer.

    The IPCC is the independent body that is responsible for investigating, processing and dealing with complaints about the police. Concerns and complaints can be raised with them via phone, email or letter. The IPCC website also has a downloadable complaints form. Most complaints are investigated by the local police force unless the complaint is of a serious nature and then it is likely to be escalated to the IPCC.

    If compensation is sought following the complaint of the police, an individual can sue. To do this, the normal procedures would be followed as for when suing any other person or organisation. A solicitor would need to be hired and will give the complainant further advice on the best approach in order to make a claim for compensation.

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