A guide to the complaints process

All the information and guidance you need about making a complaint about the police.
Black couple reading from a sheet of paper

We oversee the police complaints system in England and Wales, however 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. 

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. 

Want to know how the complaints process works?

Watch our short video for guidance on making a complaint about the police, and learn more about how the police complaints process works.
Police complaints guidance video

The complaints process

Making a complaint

After making a complaint


Are you ready to submit a complaint?

Submit a complaint

Unhappy with the outcome of your complaint?

Reviews and appeals

Got a question we haven't answered?

Find out how you can get in touch Contact us