What is a complaint?
Find out what qualifies as a complaint, when you can make one and the best way to do it.
What can I make a complaint about?
You can complain to a police force about something that has had a negative impact on you, such as causing you any form of loss, damage, distress or inconvenience. This includes general policing standards, any service you've received from the police or how we're using our resources.
Complaints can be made about individuals who work for the police, including serving officers, members of police staff, contractors and volunteers or the service provided by the police as an organisation.
If your complaint is about the police as an organisation you need to have been directly affected by the issue you're complaining about.
If your complaint is about a person, you need to have either witnessed their actions or have been directly affected by them.
For example, you can't make a complaint about a video you've seen on a mobile phone or social media involving people you don't know or an event you didn't attend.
How to make a complaint
To make a complaint about a force chief constable, please contact your local Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).
To make a complaint that isn't about a force chief constable, you can either complain to us directly or contact the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), who'll forward your complaint to the relevant force or Police and Crime Commissioner for you.
You can also ask anyone else to make a complaint on your behalf, as long as you give them your written permission.
How to complain to us:
- use our complaints form
- Write to us at:
Professional Standards Department
PO Box 2
- call 101
- visit your local police station (use the police station finder below)
If you need help to make a complaint
If English isn't your first language, we can offer translation support to help you make your complaint.
If you have a disability or difficulty with written or verbal communication we can support you.