Frequently asked questions
What can I complain about?
If you think that a police officer or member of police staff has behaved unprofessionally 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 Responsibility Act 2011
What if my complaint is not about an individual officer or officers?
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.
I have read all the information I need to make a complaint about a City of London officer, how can I do it?
If you are not happy with the way an officer has dealt with you, please complete this form
Make a complaint
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.
Complete the Professional Standards Department contact form
Write to the following address:
Professional Standards Directorate
City of London Police
PO Box 36451
How will my complaint be investigated?
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.
PSD’s are completely separate from the officers or members of staff who are complained about. In PSD the staff are trained specifically to investigate complaints and they will involve you in the process updating you regularly.
What are the choices available to me and the Professional Standards Directorate?
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 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
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 policing team.
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.
For more information visit the IPCC website
Disapplication or Discontinuance
For more information visit the IPCC website
I am not happy with the way my complaint has been managed. What can I do?
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.
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.
What is the role of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)?
A: 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.