We oversee the police complaints system in England and Wales. Most complaints are handled by the relevant police force. Each force has a department that makes sure that complaints are dealt with appropriately, these are usually called professional standards departments.
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In 2023/24, police forces and local policing bodies in England and Wales logged 85,458 complaint cases. 

We only independently investigate the most serious and sensitive matters. These are the type of matters that have the potential to affect public confidence in the police, such as deaths and serious injuries. 

This section covers the types of things you can complain about, who you can complain about, and what happens when you make a complaint. 

If you’re unhappy about the outcome of your complaint, or about the way your complaint has been handled, you can make an application for a review or appeal. 

Looking for more information about how to make a complaint?

A guide to the complaints process

Are you ready to submit a complaint?

Submit a complaint

Unhappy with the outcome of your complaint?

Reviews and appeals

Information for police

If you work for a police force, or policing organisation you can find all the information and guidance you need about the police complaints system here.

Complaints statistics

Learn all about complaints that police forces have logged by reading our annual police complaints statistics. We also produce quarterly bulletins for all police forces.


Find out more about super-complaints, and the work we do with other policing oversight bodies in this area.