Complaints

If you are not happy with the service you have received or if we have failed to meet your expectations, we would like you to tell us about it so we can address your concerns and help improve our service to others. You may wish to contact the officer involved directly to discuss your concerns or you may prefer to discuss them with the officer’s supervisor. You can find contact details for officers and supervisors in frontline departments via our online directory. If you are dissatisfied with some aspect of the police service or our staff then you can complete our online comments form or you may make a complaint against the police.

Related links

Glossary of terms

Term / language What this means Why we have to include it
Action plan What we are going to do This documents what we are going to do and how we are going to do it
Adversely affected Suffering loss, damage, distress, inconvenience or put in danger Forms part of legislation (Police Reform Act 2002 and IPCC Statutory Guidance)
Balance of probabilities More likely than not. A lower standard than 'beyond reasonable doubt', which means that you are sure Legal term/description
Complaint of conduct A complaint of conduct is an expression of dissatisfaction (unhappiness) by a member of the public about the conduct of a person serving with the police Forms part of legislation (Police Reform Act 2002 and IPCC Statutory Guidance)
Complaint of direction and control A complaint of direction and control is an expression of dissatisfaction (unhappiness) by a member of the public about general issues on how the force is run (organisational decisions). A complaint of direction and control differs from a complaint of conduct as there is no right of appeal at the conclusion of this type of complaint Forms part of legislation (Police Reform Act 2002 and IPCC Statutory Guidance)
Concise Clear and short, to assist in understanding A generic term that is used
Conduct Acts, omissions, statements and decisions Forms part of legislation (Police Reform Act 2002 and IPCC Statutory Guidance)
Credence Believable or true Forms part of legislation (Police Reform Act 2002 and IPCC Statutory Guidance)
Determination Making a decision Forms part of legislation (Police Reform Act 2002 and IPCC Statutory Guidance)
Disapplication/disapply Sometimes we don’t have to deal with a complaint, but this is goverened by rules and shouldn’t be used often Forms part of legislation (Police Reform Act 2002 and IPCC Statutory Guidance)
Disclosable Meaning we can pass information Legal term/description
Discontinuance Ending an investigation Legal term/description
Fanciful Unlikely or doubtful when considered objectively or impartially Forms part of legislation (Regulation 3, Police (Complaints and Misconduct) Regulations 2012 and IPCC Statutory Guidance)
Force register Where we record your information A generic phrase that is used.
IPCC The Independent Police Complaints Commission The IPCC supervise us and hold us to account for what we do. They are also a reference point for members of the public
Local resolution A formal route to help us learn and improve IPCC Statutory Guidance 2012
Not engaged Where someone has not helped us, or contacted us A generic phrase that is used
Oppressive Unfair or a manner that is not justified/right A generic term that is used
Public interest Is it in everyone’s (all the public) interest to do something? Is it for the common good (of all people, not just individuals)? Legal term/description
Realistic prospect of proving Considering everything that we know, can we show that something happened or is true Legal term/description.
Sub judicy/Sub judice At this time, the matter is in court so we may not be able to do something, as it could affect what happens at court Legal term/description
Unrecord Remove from our records IPCC Statutory Guidance 2012
Vexatious Without foundation. The complaint is intended, or tends, to vex, worry, annoy or embarrass IPCC Statutory Guidance 2012

Further advice can be obtained from the IPCC website.