How to complain to the police
Making a complaint
Merseyside Police officers and staff should behave appropriately
at all times.
Your views are important to us. If you are unhappy with the service
you have received from us we would like to hear from you as soon as
Making a complaint about police behaviour
A member of the public who considers that a police officer or
member of police staff has behaved incorrectly or unfairly has the
right to make a complaint.
If you make a complaint, we will ordinarily make a decision
as to whether to record it, in accordance with the Police
Reform Act 2002, within 10 working days. We will keep you
informed and if we decide not to record your
complaint you can appeal to the Independent
Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)
We take all complaints seriously and our aim is to deal with
them to your satisfaction. Dependent upon your allegations, your
complaint may be suitable to be dealt with using Local
Resolution (LR). This process can be used for matters where
often an explanation or some management involvement will
provide you with a quick but satisfactory resolution to your
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) believe LR
is the simplest and most flexible way of you telling us what has
happened, finding out why it happened, allowing someone to say
sorry if appropriate and making sure action is taken to deal with
the problem, and to stop the same thing happening in the
future. Most complaints are resolved in this
way. If your complaint is dealt with using the LR process you
will have a say into how it is resolved and at the end of the
process you will receive a letter outlining what actions were taken
to resolve your complaint. Should you not be happy with the
outcome of the LR then you can make an appeal about it.
Other cases may need to be investigated and we will decide
whether this should be carried out by someone from a local
police station or by our Professional Standards Department.
You should make a complaint within 12 months of the alleged
incident unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Who can make a complaint?
- Any person directly affected by the incident, which
is being complained about.
- Any person 'adversely affected'* by the incident, which is
being complained about. This means that whether the behaviour
was towards you or not, it had some sort of negative affect on you.
You might have been distressed or inconvenienced by it, you might
have suffered some sort of loss or damage because of it or you
might have been put in danger.
- Any person who is witness to inappropriate or
wrong behaviour, and wishes to complain about it. (This
usually means you were an eyewitness, and not that you saw it on TV
or read about it.)
- Any person making a complaint on behalf, and with the written
permission of, someone else who falls into one of the above
How to make a complaint
can complete our complaints form here.
Write to :Professional Standards Department,
PO Box 814, Liverpool, L69 3YT
Visit your local police station.