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 IOPC 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 IOPC) 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:
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.
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.