Investigating your complaint
Once you’ve made a complaint there are several possible outcomes. Every complaint is different, but we’ll follow the legislation and the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) guidelines to try to find a satisfactory solution.
What happens after I make a complaint?
If the reasons for your complaint are clear and no investigation is needed, we’ll log your complaint and try to get back to you quickly with information or an explanation.
If we need to look at your complaint in more detail, we'll pass it to our standards team. They'll log it and contact you to explain the next steps.
If you make a complaint to the IOPC, they'll forward it to us. We’ll then follow the same process as if you'd contacted us directly.
What happens after my complaint is logged?
After logging your complaint, we'll assess its nature and seriousness.
We'll allocate a complaint handler who isn’t directly connected to your complaint to look into it. They’ll get in touch with you to clarify any missing details and answer any questions you may have. Please note: the majority of complaints will be dealt with by Local Policing Area.
For some more serious complaints, we'll carry out an investigation. You'll be told how your complaint will be investigated and how a decision will be reached. We'll ask you how you'd like to be contacted and keep you informed on the progress.
However we handle your complaint we'll write to you to tell you the outcome and explain whether you can request an appeal or a review. Find out more about what you can do if you're unhappy with the outcome of your complaint.
We'll refer serious complaints we receive to the IOPC. Serious complaints would include action (or lack of action) that led to a person’s death or serious injury, serious assault, serious sexual offence, or serious corruption. They may choose to investigate these cases themselves, independently of us.
Why might my complaint not be dealt with?
Your complaint won't be progressed if it's not 'reasonable and proportionate' for us to do so.
This could be because we've already looked into it previously, you weren't directly affected by the events the complaint is about or there's a more appropriate process for raising the complaint, for example, the Victims' Right to Review Scheme.