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Making a complaint

The City of London Police is proud to deliver quality policing. For us there is no greater priority. We understand that if we are going to learn from experience and find ways to be even better, we need to listen and respond to the needs and views of the public. Your views are therefore very important to us.

If you are unhappy about the service that you’ve had, you can make a complaint. Both positive and negative feedback will help us improve.​​

Generally, there are two types of complaint: complaints about our staff and complaints about our policies and procedures.​​

It is important that you read the information on this page in full before making a complaint.​

What can I complain about?

If you think that a police officer or member of police staff has behaved incorrectly or unfairly, you have the right to make a complaint.

People who work in the police service should behave appropriately at all times. Expectations about the behaviour of both police officers and members of police staff are set out in their respective Standards of Professional Behaviour. These expectations include requirements to: 

  • Act with honesty and integrity, fairness and impartiality
  • Treat members of the public and their colleagues with respect
  • Not abuse their powers and authority
  • Act in a manner that does not discredit or undermine public confidence in the police service

If you feel that someone working for the police has not met these standards, you can make a complaint. These types of complaints are dealt with under the Police Reform Act 2002, as amended by the Police Reform and Social Respons​bility Act 2011.

Other types of complaint

Complaints about the overall policies or procedures of a police force are often referred to as ‘direction and control issues’. These can include complaints about the organisation of a police force or general policing standards in your local area. These complaints cannot be dealt with under the Police Reform Act 2002, as amended by the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011. 

How can I make a complaint about the conduct of a person serving with the police?

Online

Public complaints

If you are not happy with the way an officer has dealt with you, please complete this form

Expression of dissatisfaction

If you would like to express dissatisfaction with any element of the service, please complete this form​

In person

You can complain in person at your local station or any other station within the City of London. A police officer or a member of police staff will speak to you about your complaint and will explain your options.

By email

You can email us at psd_public@cityoflondon.police.uk

By post

Write to the following address:

Professional Standards Directorate
City of London Police
PO Box 36451
182 Bishopsgate
London
EC2M 4WN ​​

Making your complaint

Your complaint will be recorded by the Professional Standards Department (PSD). 

PSDs have overall responsibility for recording and handling complaints about the conduct of individual officers or members of police staff. 

PSDs are completely separate from the officers or members of staff who are complained about.​

Make a complaint​

How will my complaint be dealt with?

Once your complaint is accepted and recorded as being about the conduct of a police officer or member of police staff, it will be dealt with in one of two ways:

Local resolution

Local resolution is an informal approach to resolving complaints. It allows forces to learn lessons and improve the way they do things. Many people prefer their complaint to be dealt with in this way.  You cannot have your complaint dealt with using local resolution unless you agree to it.

If you agree to have your complaint addressed through local resolution, a local manager will discuss your complaint with you and draw up an action plan covering the issues you have raised.

If at the end of the local resolution process you are dissatisfied with the process followed, you have a right of appeal to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). For more information, visit the IPCC website

Local investigation

If your complaint is not suitable for Local Resolution, a local investigation will be carried out by a police investigator. The investigator will usually be assigned from the police PSD, but they could be from a local police division.

You will be informed how your complaint will be investigated, what co-operation is required from you, how a decision will be reached and what action will be taken at the end of the investigation. The type of investigation will depend on the nature and seriousness of your complaint and the likely outcome. An investigation might range from telephone enquiries conducted in a few hours to a more extensive process perhaps taking a number of months.

IPCC Investigation

For more information visit the IPCC website

Disapplication or Discontinuance

For more information visit the IPCC website​

Appealing against the way the police have handled your complaint

If you have made a complaint against the police and you are not happy with the way it has been handled, you may be able to appeal to:

The appropriate authority, who is the Professional Standards Directorate Appeal Decision Maker on behalf of the Commissioner of the City of London Police.

Or

If the complaint is about the Commissioner of the City of London Police the appeal will be assessed by appropriate authority, which is the Common Council for the City of London.

For more information visit the IPCC’s website.​

The role of the Independent Police Complaints Commission

Complaints about the conduct of people serving with the police can be sent to the IPCC, but the IPCC does not have the power to record complaints. If you complain to the IPCC, it must, by law, forward the complaint back to the force involved for consideration.

Due to the exceptionally high numbers of complaints made to the IPCC, it can take a number of weeks before a complaint is forwarded to the relevant police force. In order to have your complaint dealt with as quickly as possible, we advise you to complain to the City of London Police using one of the methods set out in the making your complaint section above.

The IPCC also investigates the most serious complaints and allegations of misconduct against the police in England and Wales. These complaints are referred to the IPCC by police forces. The IPCC may decide to investigate an incident using its own investigators (referred to as an independent investigation).

Alternatively, it can manage or supervise a police investigation into the matter. The IPCC will only conduct independent investigations into incidents that cause the greatest level of public concern – for example, deaths in or following police custody. 



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