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What happens now?

Do you need help to make a complaint?

If you need help to make a complaint please let us know. We will try to help by :

  • Referring you to a suitable advocacy or support group.
  • Access to interpreters so that you can communicate with us.
  • Use of Language translation services so that we can send you communication in a language other than English if this would help you.
  • Referring you to services who can support you if you have speech or hearing difficulties.
  • There is also an accessibility tool which is located on the top middle of the screen.

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 Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), 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 IOPC against our decision not to progress your complaint. Find out more information on the IOPC appeals page.

Making a complaint about the conduct of an individual police officer or member of police staff

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, not to behave
    unethically or corrupt and engage in inappropriate relationships
  • 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 .

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

There are several ways to make a complaint to the City of London Police.

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 e-mail

You can e-mail us at

Please ensure that you provide your address and a telephone number so that we are able to contact you. Without these details it will not be possible to progress enquiries into the issues raised.        

By post

Write to the following address: Professional Standards Directorate, 182 bishopsgate, London EC2M 4NP

By phone

Phone our Contact Centre through our non-emergency telephone number - 101.


Submit the electronic form .

Other ways to make a complaint

You can also:

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 IOPC. 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 IOPC 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 IOPC 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.        

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 Commissioner or to the IOPC.

The IOPC deal with all appeals against a complaint not being recorded. You can also appeal against an investigation into your complaint, against a local resolution, or against a decision not to look into your complaint. You will be notified of your right of appeal and who it should be sent to by the Professional Standards Department when they write to you about your complaint

For more information visit the IOPC's website.

The role of the Independent Office for Police Conduct

Complaints about the conduct of people serving with the police can be sent to the IOPC, but the IOPC does not have the power to record complaints. If you complain to the IOPC, 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 IOPC, it can take a number of weeks before a complaint is forwarded to the relevant police force.

The IOPC also investigates the most serious complaints and allegations of misconduct against the police in England and Wales. These complaints are referred to the IOPC by police forces. The IOPC 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 IOPC will only conduct independent investigations into incidents that cause the greatest level of public concern – for example, deaths in or following police custody.