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Challenging the Police

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 15 Sep 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Police Public Complaint Rights Legal

Challenging the police if you feel they have not properly carried out their duties is a legal right for people living in Britain.

There are a number of different ways that complaints can be made if you feel the police have been acting irresponsibly within their duties.

Police Misconduct

There are a number of reasons why the public may want to make a complaint regarding police behaviour.

Reasons can include:

  • Abuse of rights
  • Harassment and use of excessive force
  • A member of the public has been arrested unlawfully
  • A member of the public has been a witness to police misconduct
  • The police are treating certain groups in the community unfairly
  • Allegations of corruption, hate crimes, assault and injury
  • Death or serious injury while in custody

Where to Make a Complaint

Complaints can be submitted verbally or in writing at any local police station. If you are making a complaint in writing always make sure you obtain a copy of the complaint for yourself. You can also make a complaint about the police to an independent agency such as the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB). Information that is given must be accurate and honest and contain as many details as possible. Remember, the police can take legal action against anyone who makes a false complaint against the police force.

The IPCC

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is an organisation designed specifically to deal with complaints made against the police. If a complaint is made directly to the IPCC they will then forward it to the appropriate police force. The IPCC is a regulatory body that sets the standard regarding how police complaints procedures are handled. This organisation will handle complaints dealing with the behaviour of police officers and police staff. You can also use the IPCC’s online complaint form to send your complaint directly to the IPCC.

Police Complaints Procedure

Complaints about inappropriate behaviour of police officers and staff must be reported within 12 months of the incident taking place. Details should be as accurate as possible and include the time and date of the incident, the people involved and the police identity numbers if possible. Also try to include the names of any witnesses to the incident and anything that may support your claim such as CCTV cameras in the area. Witness statements will also be helpful but should be set out only by the witnesses.

Investigating the Complaint

The complaint will be investigated by a complaints and discipline department within the police force. Most complaints will be dealt with through the local police force but there are exceptions. Very serious complaints such as assault, corruption and discriminatory behaviour may be passed on to the IPCC. The IPCC may then conduct a supervised investigation. The IPCC can conduct supervised, managed and independent investigations depending on the seriousness of the allegation.

Why You Should Complain?

Many people who feel they do have a justifiable complaint against the police will simply forget the matter due to fear of consequences. However, the police do take complaints against police officers very seriously and allegations should always be thoroughly investigated. By making a complaint you are taking a stand that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated within your own community. Complaints should also always be made if you are a witness to any type of police misconduct.

The Complaint Outcome

There are a number of different scenarios that may be the result of an allegation made against the police. As a result of a complaint the police may have to improve or change their procedures. If the complaint is of a particularly serious nature it may end up being taken to the criminal courts. The police may also end up taking misformal conduct action against the individual officer or officers that the complaint was made against.

Making an Appeal

If you feel that the complaint was not appropriately handled or you are unhappy about the outcome then you may be able to complain to the IPCC. The IPCC will look at the appeal and make a decision as to whether or not to investigate the matter further. The IPCC can also make the police change their decision or investigate the allegation further.

Members of the public should never be afraid of making a complaint against the police. Making a complaint is the only way to ensure that police misconduct is not tolerated within the community.

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English person living in Scotland, police are racist against us and will not help, we’ve suffered years of abuse from neighbours around us and even been assaulted, police won’t even make an arrest against the perpetrators but arrest us instead.
Anon - 9-Sep-19 @ 7:39 AM
Made complaint against W.P.O Lacey of city police London bishops gate 24/05/2019 (l have doctor sick note) she's not a qualified multiple phycological specialist doctor? she took side's with the Man who I made the complaints against, she slandered me with derogatory comments regarding my mental health , I have never been the same since privy to W.P.O Lacey of city police London bishops gate,they just closed the case WEB-RBR-W6Y-TS7 19000265700 without any mutual compromise ,had to report them for perverted justice.
Crunk - 2-Jun-19 @ 2:17 PM
My son and I have had problems with a new neighbour (a senior banker) for nearly 3 years, he has verbally abused us, assaulted us, watched his dog poo outside our premises, driven at us, driven at speed across the grass verge in front of our house, made false accusations to police and local authorities, called my 40 year old son a paedophile because he'd looked at his 17 year old son, fishtailed when driving towards my 70 year old wife. The police refuse to take any action against him, the local authority have prosecuted for his dogs mess and served him with an anti-social order, yet he still continues. We believe senior police officers are influenced by Lloyds Bank or his uncle a senior Freemason! View 'Michael huke' on YouTube to see some evidence for your selves. We are at a loss as what to do to dissuade this mans actions!
Evi Dence - 9-Apr-19 @ 9:52 AM
Once a police PSD record a complaint under the provisions of the Police Reform Act 2002 are they legally required to investigate, or can they ignore the complaint? I have asked the IOPC this question, but am referred to the local force PSD who do not reply.
Terry - 26-Mar-19 @ 12:57 PM
I would like to enquiry as to whether there is any case against Police? The crux of my enquiry is that we have long-lasting (for a number of years in a row) problems with neighbours next door. They behave in anti-social, harassing, abusive and threatening manner along with causing systematic noise disturbance by long-hours (until 3-4am next day) drunken parties held in their backyard garden which is just separated with fence. Our local Council have witnessed by issuing a formal abatement notice under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Further, a breach of that notice has been twice witnessed by that same Council. Our problems with neighbours escalated to such outrageous displays like burning cigarette ends along with a bag filled with neighbours dogs' poor were thrown onto our conservatory roof. Police who did initially allegedly 'investigated' such behaviour concluded there was no case by even suggesting, in a mockery-sounding manner, that it could be seagulls who picked up burning cigarettes' butts and then dropped them onto our conservatory's roof. Further, just recently, there were another two outrageous displays of the escalation of the neighbours' abusive, threatening and harassing hate-motivated behaviour towards us. In the night-time (at around 2am) a heavy glass item was thrown from the neighbouring property into one of our house' bedroom windows. An hour later, the neighbour who was heavily drunk, used switched on high-pressure washer as kind of weapon by directing it at one of our outside CCTV cameras with apparent intention to destroy it. All these incidents recorded by our CCTV cameras which, along with video capture have sound-recording. As it is evident from these records contents, regardless that it is almost impossible to recognise faces of the perpetrators, nevertheless, both incidents are backed up by voice/audio-recordings which establish identity of the perpetrators. Police did initially again allegedly started 'investigation' by further quickly jumping to conclusion that there is 'no enough evidence to support prosecution'. This assertion appears to be false, as police did not investigate anything. Why? Plainly because the main house owner, our neighbour, is an active police officer of that same police force which allegedly 'investigated' my claims. I have already submitted a formal complaint to the Chief Constable, by addressing to the criminal activity committed by the police officer's members of family, as well as against the investigator who effectively buried out investigation by destroying / making 'inadmissible' all documentary evidence and failing to investigate criminal offences. However, shockingly, I have been approached by that same 'investigator' who is a subject of my complaint. Can I sue police for misconduct and cover up of criminal activity of the police officer's members of family?
Simon - 22-Mar-19 @ 7:01 PM
I have reported to police about my sister who took tens of thousands of pounds out of my mams accounts even though my mother lacked capacity and was in a nursing home it was proved someone’s rent was going out of the account which wasn’t my mothers as she is fully funded safeguarding know all about this as does the bank and dwp who froze accounts one police officer on the case said there was enough evidence to arrest sister and partner then she left and passed it over to another officer who said he only had evidence to arrest her then after over a year of waiting he decides it’s not a crime because apparently she will get it any way when my mother dies this is unbelievable
Joycie - 4-Dec-18 @ 7:11 PM
The psni , police force of northern Ireland, constantly throw there weight about they harrass decent people, tell lies and abuse power.
Peace - 22-Oct-18 @ 6:17 PM
I went to police as my ex was putting all over social media disgusting things stating my name thing tjat could ruin my busines . One thing that a man should never be called she was saying i was one then try adding people i new . I gave police evidence . Pages an pages of evidence The pc in question said she can put what she wants its not breaking the law . Since tbat ive had more an more sent to me this being going on over 7 weeks police done nothing .despite me saying shes harrasing me . Then trys contacting my new partner sending threats to kill still nothing
Lenord - 14-Jul-18 @ 6:22 PM
The police do as they wish they are not fearful of being investigated by the IPCC why should they, police "police" themselves basically.My poor friend suffered as a result of relaying information to them assuming that they would help and wouldn't breachconfidentially but they did just that and they do it openly too, they simply don't care. Have they changed since poor Stephen Lawrence's death some 25 years ago - no! I no longer have faith in them, - the force is no longer fit for purpose. I would be fearful of having any contact with them following this incident.
Anon - 8-Jul-18 @ 7:05 PM
Many of the force is corrupt and if you are an officer with human morals you don't fit in! Either gaining cheated funds for pensions or using position to lie or con the public (yes the police investigate themselves - their friends and collegues), so what do you expect. Vote for a party who believes in justice and share, share, share on the net. The disillusioned public will not stay quiet.
bizzybetty - 10-Jun-18 @ 3:03 PM
Manny of the force is corrupt and if you are an officer with human morals you don't fit in! Either gaining cheated funds for pensions or using position to lie or con the public (yes the police investigate themselves - their friends and collegues), so what do you expect. Vote for a party who believes in justice and share, share, share on the net. The disillusioned public will not stay quiet.
bizzybetty - 10-Jun-18 @ 3:02 PM
I have neighbours from hell whom lie to the police, threatenme with violence. Try to have my partner doone for harrassment, by lying to the police the council. Housing. They are not normal and i believe drug dealing, to have a great lifestyle. The police seem to believe them and they hide behand there kids, they harrass me at work and tell everyone lies and they are nutcases. The police must be blind as they believe this woman and threaten us and force us to sign a pin, even the police standards ignre complaints about there group and gives the police bad pubility. We wont be forced out of our house with a woman whos mentally disturbed
Butcher - 10-May-18 @ 7:37 PM
Penguin- Your Question:
Hi my name is Jamie I am from northern Ireland can I take the police up for not attending my sense of an attack or how would I do it

Our Response:
If you havea complaint to make about the police, you can check out the Independent Office for Police Conduct
CivilRightsMovement - 4-Apr-18 @ 11:39 AM
Hi my name is Jamie I am from northern Ireland can I take the police up for not attending my sense of an attack or how would I do it
Penguin - 1-Apr-18 @ 3:06 PM
Look at all these people trying to get some justice!!! There will never be any because the police investigate themselves! The police and magistrates find innocent people guilty and wreck lives so they can get a pay rise and promotion so don't waste your time its bs. The police will lie for crap people they know as family and friends and make bad reports against good people.
whatajoke - 18-Mar-18 @ 9:55 PM
i have been arested and my neighbours lied about me to police which got me sectioned they said id been running around with a knife and threatned to headbutt my neighbour said i was drunk which i was not there was no futher action taken but my neighbours stilll laughing at me they wont tell me which one it is and i was still sectioned for 1 month and a half are they allowed to do this to me im innocent ?
mel - 9-Mar-18 @ 7:30 AM
My son was murdered on 28th j October 2015 he was a fit 28 year old boy . The investigation into his death was almost none resistant I have for 2 years fought tierlsley for unuswered questions . Still last week ipcc came back with again the appeal is not being upheld. Not one question has been answered again fourth appeal. NOW I'm being told I cannot appeal against the discussion!! What decision you haven't answered anythingjust did they cross the I and dot the T nobody is listening to me concerning all this evidence they have ignored . I was asked by the DI had I ever thought about joining the police my answer was have you The solid evidence they have ignored is disgusting the lying the none resistant line of solid enquiry . My son served for queen and country to be written off as a number not a human being . The guy who through him off the 11th floor was a known london drug dealer for the police to say we have never arrested him for drugs. Well if I kill someone you won't arrest meas iv never murdered anyone before?? I want to see the see the commissioner of police with all my findings I want answers I have Tried for 2 years to get answers nothing not one. The ipcc have openly omitted they can only look at certain areas ie did the dot the I and cross the T what about all the rest . My son cannot ask for himself I am his voice now
Elli - 20-Feb-18 @ 1:30 PM
My son has been assused of DV.I have evidence of a witness who was present at the time of the incident. I have told the police this in my statement as i too was in the house at the time of the incident.Photos were shown to police proving the fact.They have not sort a statement from the witness and are taking tbe case to the cps.. What can we do?
JusticeWanted - 4-Feb-18 @ 9:36 AM
How can the police not investigate evidence told and showed to them in defence of allegations made against some one .My sons bail has been extended as CPS have not made a decision but they have not looked into the evidence that infact his ex partner has set him up we have the evidence.Three separate occasions we have tried no one will listen he has disabilities and still no one has looked into it where is the safe guarding !!!
nikki - 17-Jan-18 @ 11:02 AM
My wife had an affair with a police officer, I confronted the policeman but only on the phone as I did not know who he was, I found his number in my wifes purse, he cautioned me over the phone, I could not believe he was hiding behind his job and abusingthe power he has. To cut a long story short, he got away with it, his commanding officer more or less swept it under the carpet, the IPCC were not interested. This was 17 years ago. I have suffered with all sorts of mental conditions since this. The police look after there own.
Boot - 16-Jan-18 @ 12:34 AM
Police push me and want to arrest me for nothing. I call police report someone stole my friend passport. When we came to the house got thief. We said to them we call police if they don't return passport. They scared and throw my friend passport outside the house on the street. And they want to fight with us, we press call police, they saw we call police. Two guys go inside and lock the house. They don't let my friend come inside, he rent a room there and still valid. When police come, we try to ask them help my friend can get inside stay there. But they refuse to help. Police didn't knock the house and ask what happen. Police even shout at us, they don't let us explain. And one police lady push me ask me leave this place. I said no. I just stand outside on the street. I do nothing wrong. Why she push me and ask me leave? I said no, she said she will arrest me if I don't leave. My husband was very angry. He come hug me and protect me, he said to her"my wife got pregnant why you push her" she got no right to treated us this way. Where can I complaint? Unfair for me, for my friend. People stole his passport for a week. But police said as long as they return mean they are not thief. How those thief can respect the law if police just don't care?
Anna - 3-Jan-18 @ 12:24 AM
I have tried various ways of complaining and I can tell you first hand that the IPCC cover up for all of the actions of misconduct and corruption, I was a victim and nothing was done, the IPCC is a waste of tax payers money and a huge investigation needs to go into sorting this mess out, police misconduct, harassment and corruption is in all police stations and nothing ever gets done, colleagues don't whistleblow and look after there own, I'm disgusted with the police force and if I was to become an officer of the law, I would lead by example, but these days there is very little that can be done to protect your self from the bad cops, the good officers just leave and go to a different station whilst the culprits still continue there actions
Mark Durham - 26-Dec-17 @ 4:05 PM
I have reported criminals to the police who frauded sabotaged my company resulted in personal loss of£25 millions but the police sabotaged the ivestigation for no valid reason any offer to help recovering my losses
Sam - 26-Dec-17 @ 3:29 PM
I experienced abuse in a children's home. I was taken out of the home by the officer in charge to her private flat to abuse me. I complained at the time several years ago but noone listened. I went back to police and made video statement in 2010. My uncle who also abused me was jailed. However they took no action about the childrens home. When I complained they told me they weren't sure why they took no action but thought the officer in charge of he home was dead. They then said the officer in charge died in 2016 six years after I made my statement to them so was alive at the time. More recently I gave evidence to an independent enquiry for people abused in care etc and as part of their processes they contact police. Someone contacted me form the police. I told them what had happened but they just stopped responding to me. I complained through the IPCC and the professional standards of the police. I got no response after eight weeks so went back to IPCC. They said they had now got police to record my complaint. Another six weeks passed I went back to IPCC. They got police to send a letter saying they were were recording complaint. Still nothing. Finally I heard from someone else form the police who said the person who was dealing with my complaint had now left and that if I wanted to complain to the police about the missed opportunity I should contact the professional standards which I have already done and been ignored. I contacted IPCC again who tld me they only deal with 'serious' crimes such as death in custody and cannot force the police to act. I have been to countless solicitors who won't help due to time that has elapsed and the fact the police took no action. What happened to me in that home ruined my life and I complained at the time but noone wanted to know.
Mungo at the Crossro - 4-Dec-17 @ 6:04 AM
Lisa - Your Question:
I was accused of hitting a car in a car park with my car door, which I hadn't done. The man accusing me started to take pictures of my registration and told me he would deal with my insurance, so I started to take pictures of his vehicle to show there was no damage he didnt like this so grabbed me by both arms and threw me across the car park. I immediately phoned the police and whilst on the phone with them (they didn't attend) this man was screaming in my face and pushed me over twice more. There is cctv to back all of this up. I got a phone call from the police later that evening to say after listening to the call and my statement the man, when found, would be arrested for a section 39 assault. However the following morning I received another call from a different police officer to inform me that as it was unlikely I would bump into this man again there was no immediate threat to myself, and I wasn't injured, just red marks on my arms where he had grabbed me, it wasn't a priority case and would be looked into when they had an officer free. I have received a text message this morning (7days after the assault took place) to inform me after an initial investigation no further action will take place. Not even the courtesy of a phone call this time. How is it right that a man gets away with assaulting a woman in the middle of the afternoon under a cctv camera and isn't even arrested? Is there anything more I can do?

Our Response:
If the police can't trace the man or don't feel they can prosecute for some reason, your other option is a private action via the courts. If you don't know who the man is or his address that might be difficult though. A solicitor should be able to give you details of your options.
CivilRightsMovement - 28-Nov-17 @ 2:09 PM
I was accused of hitting a car in a car park with my car door, which I hadn't done. The man accusing me started to take pictures of my registration and told me he would deal with my insurance, so I started to take pictures of his vehicle to show there was no damage he didnt like this so grabbed me by both arms and threw me across the car park. I immediately phoned the police and whilst on the phone with them (they didn't attend) this man was screaming in my face and pushed me over twice more. There is cctv to back all of this up. I got a phone call from the police later that evening to say after listening to the call and my statement the man, when found, would be arrested for a section 39 assault. However the following morning I received another call from a different police officer to inform me that as it was unlikely I would bump into this man again there was no immediate threat to myself, and I wasn't injured, just red marks on my arms where he had grabbed me, it wasn't a priority case and would be looked into when they had an officer free. I have received a text message this morning (7days after the assault took place) to inform me after an initial investigation no further action will take place. Not even the courtesy of a phone call this time. How is it right that a man gets away with assaulting a woman in the middle of the afternoon under a cctv camera and isn't even arrested? Is there anything more I can do?
Lisa - 27-Nov-17 @ 11:35 AM
NAC17 - Your Question:
My 15 year old is diagnosed with ADHD and was found setting a fire in the neighbourhood yesterday. A community officer came to my home and suggested my son could take part in a FireBrigade Course. This was of interest so the community officer said she would return with forms for me to sign.The community Officer returned with two police officers and I let them into my home not thinking anything of it. The two officers looked into my fridge and decided to look up stairs. They lifted up my children's bed sheets to look at their mattresses. They told me 'You have too many kids.' I was in complete shock. I asked what the nature of their invasion was and their response was defensive, rude and un answered. Is there anything I can do to complain about this and if so whom do I address?

Our Response:
Ask the police why they were visiting? They should have told you at the time really.
CivilRightsMovement - 8-Nov-17 @ 10:43 AM
My 15 year old is diagnosed with ADHD and was found setting a fire in the neighbourhood yesterday. A community officer came to my home and suggested my son could take part in a FireBrigade Course. This was of interest so the community officer said she would return with forms for me to sign. The community Officer returned with two police officers and I let them into my home not thinking anything of it. The two officers looked into my fridge and decided to look up stairs. They lifted up my children's bed sheets to look at their mattresses. They told me 'You have too many kids.' I was in complete shock. I asked what the nature of their invasion was and their response was defensive, rude and un answered. Is there anything I can do to complain about this and if so whom do I address?
NAC17 - 1-Nov-17 @ 6:51 PM
Rower750 - Your Question:
Hello,My husband was involved in a minor rtc, his car was parked legally in a car park and it was rear ended by a woman who claimed she never saw his car there, fair enough she admitted fault, my husband was in the parked car at the time and was thrown forward, only minor injuries, the other driver reluctantly gave her surname and a phone number only, she never answered her phone. She refused her insurance.My husband traced her and had put a note on her driveway gate politely asking to get in touch to sort this out and asked her again for her insurance details, she refused these, she for some reason took offence at something like this letter being hung on her gate, no damage was done.Then out of the blue two police officers turned up at our door, saying they were there to investigate a complaint made over the communication the other driver had received - we were like? Huh a polite not asking her to get in touch over the accident she caused and her insurance details.Police were aggressive and said my husband had no right to ask for her insurance details, any injuries he had weren't real if he didn't go to a GP, any legal advice he had was all wrong in their view, and the other driver had clearly just made a mistake, asked if he ever made a mistake, said she clearly didn't know her insurance and shouldn't be harassed for it! One officer said he didn't know his insurance company off hand either, all odd and personal comments to be making we thought.Put a complaint into the local station and was told that there was no such complaint ever been made against my husband. So the police have lied, made up an allegation which was false to gain entry to our house and harass us. When the officers were questioned they lied to their Sgt stating they never said they were investigating a complaint against my husband. So no reason for them ever have called around, no criminal matter to be looked into at all here, the officers have called around to harass us, i've since learned that the lie of the complaint they made up to gain entry to our house and stated this was the reason of their visit, was caught on the home cctv audio. What's my next step?

Our Response:
Have you considered making a complaint to the IPCC about this?
CivilRightsMovement - 1-Nov-17 @ 12:55 PM
Danielle- Your Question:
My partner was involved in a car accident.He had finished work at 8:35pm, got in his car & was making his way home, he drove down a dark country lane, he said he saw two ref lights up ahead (another car), being dark he thought the car was moving, all of a sudden he said he came too close to this car, slammed his breaks & crashed I to the car up ahead, the car was stationary on the road with no hazards on, talking to a cyclist. Ambulance, fire & police came, thankfully no one was hurt. After my partner spoke to police they decided to blame him with dangerous driving despite him doing the legal limit & the car in front having no lights on. To me this doesn't seem just, he wasnt drinking, speeding or doing anything wrong but he has been given the blame. Can we appeal this? Does this seem fair?

Our Response:
We can't comment on individual liability unfortunately. If he wants to dispute the charge he will need to be willing to attend court and it might be worth seeking professional legal help.
CivilRightsMovement - 1-Nov-17 @ 11:05 AM
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