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Policing is often carried out under difficult conditions. There may be times when you think we haven't delivered the service you expect.

You can complete a complaint form if:

  • You are the person who the behaviour you want to complain about was directed towards
  • You were 'adversely affected' by the behaviour you want to complain about.  A person is adversely affected if 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
  • You witnessed the behaviour that you want to complain about (this usually means you were an eyewitness, and not for example that you saw it on TV)
  • Alternatively, if you have their written permission, you can make a complaint on behalf of someone else who falls into one of these categories.

A person cannot claim to be adversely affected if he or she has only seen or heard the conduct or its alleged effects unless:

  • He or she was physically present or sufficiently nearby when the conduct took place or effects occurred that he or she could see or hear the conduct or its effects; or
  • He or she was adversely affected because (or it was aggravated by the fact that) he or she already knew the person in relation to whom the conduct took place. 

Please note, you should only use this form to complain about the conduct of an officer or a member of staff who works for West Midlands Police. 

How to make a complaint

You can submit a complaint using our online complaints form


Frequently asked questions

What are the standards that a police officer should work to?

Please have a look at the Standards of Professional Behaviour for police officers.

How long do I have to make a complaint?

A complaint may be considered too old if more than 12 months have passed between the relevant or latest incident leading to the complaint and the making of the complaint, and either:

  • no good reason for the delay has been shown; or
  • injustice would be likely to be caused by the delay.

The fact that there has been a 12 month delay between the relevant incident and the complaint is not enough on its own. 

There must also be either no good reason for the delay in making the complaint or it would cause injustice to continue with the complaint.

A decision can be taken by the force to not deal with such a complaint or the IPCC can approve the force not dealing with it.

Injustice may be caused by a delay in making a complaint because - for example, it will be harder for people to remember the event and gather evidence.

So it is important that complaints are made at the earliest opportunity to help the effectiveness of the investigation. 

However, each case is considered on an individual basis and the force (or the IPCC) will take into account the complainant’s reasons for the delay and reasons given by the police as to why injustice is likely to result from the complaint.

How will my complaint be dealt with?

Our aim is to put right what has gone wrong and learn to improve. 

In cases where officers and staff have acted correctly we may explain their actions to help you understand them. This can be done without needing to use the complaints procedure.

If this is not possible, or your case is more serious, your complaint may be recorded.  There are several ways a complaint can be dealt with depending on the circumstances and how serious it is:

Local Resolution

Less serious complaints can be dealt with by a manager at your local station. Less serious complaints are those that would not result in criminal or misconduct proceedings.

In a process called ‘Local Resolution’ a course of actions are agreed between the complainant and the manager.

Complaint Investigation

Formal complaint investigations are for cases where:

  • A local resolution is not possible
  • Allegations are more serious

Some serious allegations may be dealt with by your local police. Most will be investigated by the Professional Standards Department.

The Professional Standards Department look at each allegation and decide how your complaint will be dealt with.

Direction and Control Related Complaints

A direction and control matter relates to the direction and control of a police force by its Chief Officer or a person carrying out that function.

This includes complaints about the policies, procedures, or services provided by a police force.

What is the Independent Office for Police Conduct?

The Independent Office for Police Conduct, formerly the Independent Police Complaints Commission, oversees the police complaints system in England and Wales and sets the standards by which the police should handle complaints. It is independent, making its decisions entirely independently of the police and government.

To get more information please click here.