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What happens now?

What happens when I make a complaint?

You will be contacted you within seven working days of recording your complaint.

Please provide accurate contact information. Our initial intention will be to resolve your complaint by giving you information or an explanation.

If your complaint needs to be looked into in more detail, staff in our Professional Standards Directorate (PSD) will make a record, assess the seriousness and recommend the next steps.

If you make a complaint about the City of London Police via the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), they will forward your complaint to us.

We may decide not to progress your complaint, which means we won’t be looking into it in more detail. There are a number of reasons we may do this. These include if your complaint is:

  • Sent to us more than 12 months after the incident, with no reasonable explanation for the delay.

  • The same as a complaint we’ve already received.

You can appeal to the IPCC against our decision not to progress your complaint. Find out more information on the IPPC appeals page.

What happens after my complaint has been recorded?

Where the PSD decide to progress your complaint, they will assess it based on its nature and seriousness, and the likely outcome. We can deal with most complaints at a local police level.

We will allocate a person not involved in your complaint to look into it. They will get in touch with you to make sure they have all the information they need. They’ll establish the facts, and will also ask you what would make things better for you personally. For example, you may want:

  • an explanation / better understanding;

  • for the same thing not to happen again to you or another person;

  • an apology.

The person looking into your complaint will be able to tell you what’s likely to happen. They should give you a copy of any action plan and allow you to comment on the proposed actions.

Local Resolution of your complaint

We may talk to you about the Local Resolution of your complaint. By this we mean we’ll be working with you, at a local level to deal with your concerns and to provide an agreed outcome to your complaint.

For example, a police or staff manager may manage your complaint. They’ll involve you and the officers or staff you’ve complained about. They could provide you with an explanation and understanding; they may offer an apology and also identify learning to prevent the same thing happening in the future.

This Local Resolution process has an emphasis on learning rather than blame. We want to make sure that, where we have failed, those same things don’t happen again either to you or to someone else.

More serious investigations

Your complaint may be more serious. If we think it could lead to disciplinary action, resulting in staff or officers being dismissed from the City of London Police or criminal proceedings, we’ll give it to a trained independent investigator within the PSD.

We’ll make sure you’re kept informed of our progress during the investigation. And we’re committed to updating you at least every 28 days.

Some complaints we receive must be referred to the IPCC. These include:

  • action or a lack of action that led to someone dying or being seriously injured

  • serious assault

  • serious sexual offence

  • serious corruption

The IPCC may decide to return the matter to the PSD to deal with or conduct an independent investigation. Specific information about independent investigations can be found on the IPCC investigations page.

What happens once my complaint has been investigated?

At the end of our investigation into your complaint, we’ll let you know the outcome and your right of appeal.

The outcome should include:

  • whether your complaint was upheld;

  • whether we found any of our officers or staff to be unprofessional;

  • any learning opportunities; and

  • any action taken against our officers and staff.

We will provide you with enough information so that you can understand what we did, what we found and why we reached the decisions we did.

Follow-on actions may include:

  • Improvement or changes to our procedures

  • Giving formal advice so individual performance improves

  • A referral to the Crown Prosecution Service for criminal charges

  • Formal misconduct proceedings, which could lead to dismissal

  • No further action being taken due to insufficient information

  • The City of London Police agreeing with you that something went wrong, and deciding that no other action is appropriate.