Complaints against the Police and State Bodies

All public officials including police officers have professional standards of conduct that they must follow. A failure to meet these standards may arise from a simple lack of courtesy or, more seriously, a breach of the rules governing powers of stop and search or arrest. If you wish to complain about a police officer, or other state official, then we can help you through the complaints process.

We have achieved positive outcomes for our clients in a range of circumstances.  These include a football fan assaulted in the holding cell beneath a stadium and peaceful protesters sprayed with CS spray .  We have also advised bereaved families whose loved one has died in state custody on how to engage with the complaint and investigation process. 

The process for making a complaint usually means the police force or state body investigate themselves first before there is a right to appeal to a separate organisation like the Independent Police Complaints Commission or the Prison and Probation Ombudsman. 

While the complaint process can be long and frustrating it is often the only way an individual officer will be held to account. 

Complaints must usually be brought within a year of the incident.  Legal Aid is available depending in part on the seriousness of the complaint.

The complaint process is often followed by a civil claim for compensation.  Please see our Civil Actions page

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