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 possible.

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 complaint. 

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 categories.

Data Protection

The information provided will only be shared with relevant persons or agencies i.e. solicitors, IPCC.

The complaint will be retained by Merseyside Police for a period of 7 years.

They can access a copy of this form by submitting a Subject Access Request form. Full instructions on making Subject Access applications, including the application form DP1, can be found on the Merseyside Police website. Persons wishing to have an application pack sent to them via Royal Mail can leave their name and address on the Subject Access 24-hour voicemail line on 0151 777 7070. All payments are now made toPCC for MERSEYSIDE, not Merseyside Police.

If you have a complaint about the Victims’ Code

If you feel that an organisation has not complied with the Victims’ Code, and you wish to complain, you should send your complaint to the organisation concerned.  If you have a complaint against Merseyside Police, please contact us. We will listen, understand and keep you informed.

If you have a complaint about the Victims’ Code

If the organisation concerned fails to resolve your complaint and you remain dissatisfied, the complaint can be considered and reported on by the Parliamentary Ombudsman.  You should contact your MP who can refer your complaint to the Ombudsman. Further details about making a complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman can be found at the address below:

How to make a complaint

Online by completing our complaints form here.                 

Or writing to:

Merseyside Police

Professional Standards Department or Civil Litigation Department



L69 1JD

Or by visiting your local police station.