Making a complaint to North Wales Police


North Wales Police Professional Standards Department deals with complaints against police officers and staff in North Wales. The complaints process is overseen by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

If you think you have been treated badly by a police officer or other police employee, you have the right to make a complaint.


(The following section will appear as a series of clickable links. When clicked, the section will expand with the relevant information)


Who can make a complaint?


  • You can make a complaint if you have been the victim of police conduct that you felt was inappropriate, or
  • You were present when the incident or conduct took place, or close enough to see or hear the incident, or,
  • You have been adversely affected* by the incident or are distressed as a result of a friend or a relative being treated badly by the police.
  • If you are acting on behalf of someone who wishes to make a complaint, you must have their written permission to make a complaint on their behalf.
    (*Being adversely affected may include distress, inconvenience, loss or damage, or being put in danger or at risk). 


What can I complain about?


You can make a complaint about the individual conduct of any police officer or other police employee. The Police Standards of Professional Behaviour require that all police personnel;


  • act with honesty and integrity;
  • treat members of the public and their colleagues with respect;
  • not abuse the powers and authority police officers are granted;
  • act in a manner that does not discredit or undermine public confidence in the police service.


How do I make a complaint?


You can make your complaint in any of the following ways:


  • Go to any police station and ask for your complaint to be recorded.
  • Contact the Professional Standards Department on 01492 805427 or write to the Detective Superintendent of the Professional Standards Department at Police HQ, Glan Y Don, Colwyn Bay LL29 8AW or email:
  • Complete a complaint form online
  • Contact the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) 90 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6BH, Tel: 0300 020 0096. The IPCC have produced a guide to the complaint process and a complaint form: 
  • Go to a solicitor or your MP and ask them to make a complaint for you; they will require your written consent to act on your behalf. (If you would like someone to act on your behalf, such as a relative or friend, they will also require your written consent).


Complaints about general policing standards or the operational policies and procedures of North Wales Police are dealt with separately from complaints about individual Officers or Staff and should be directed to North Wales Police, not the IPCC.


Please see below IPCC link that gives information on how to make a complaint in a number of other formats;


How will my complaint be resolved?

Our aim is to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction as quickly as possible. It will be assessed and recorded before being resolved in one of the following ways:


Local Resolution


Local resolution is the simplest and quickest way to resolve your complaint and provides you with the opportunity to speak directly to someone about your concerns; we will find out what happened, provide you with an explanation and offer an apology if appropriate. You will be asked to give your written consent to the local resolution process and agree an action plan.


Police Investigation


If the complaint is more serious or you do not wish to have it dealt with by local resolution, it will be formally investigated either by the Professional Standards Department if it is classed as misconduct or by an Investigating officer who will conduct a proportionate investigation if it has been assessed as a performance matter. In very serious cases, the Professional Standards Department must refer the complaint to the IPCC which will then decide how the matter should be progressed.


How will I be kept informed of the progress of an investigation?


You have the right to be kept informed about the progress and outcome of an investigation whether it is being carried out by the police or by the IPCC.  The investigator will inform you:

  • How your complaint will be investigated. 
  • What co-operation they require from you, such as providing a statement or the details of any witnesses. 
  • How a decision will be reached. 
  • The action that will be taken at the end of the investigation.


They will also agree with you how often and by which method you would prefer to be kept informed of the progress of the investigation. If you prefer, you can also agree for communication to be made through a third party, such as a solicitor, rather than directly between you and the investigating officer.


What will happen when the investigation is finished?


You will be informed of the outcome of the investigation once it is completed and the action that will be taken if your complaint is upheld, for example;

  • We may take formal disciplinary or management action against the officer or staff member. 
  • The case may be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) which will decide if there is enough evidence to bring criminal charges against a member of the force. 
  • We will ensure that any lessons learned from the investigation are used to improve the service.


In some cases, there may not be enough evidence to uphold your complaint. This does not mean that you have not been believed, but that there is insufficient evidence to prove or disprove the complaint.


Do I have any right of appeal if I am not happy with the outcome of my complaint or the way it has been handled?


You have the right of appeal to the IPCC if:

  • The police do not record your complaint.
  • You are not satisfied with the outcome or proposed action of a misconduct investigation into your complaint.
  • You have not been provided with adequate information about the findings of the investigation or the actions that the police propose to take.
  • You disagree with our decision not to refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service.


You have the right of appeal to the Head of Professional Standards of North Wales Police if:

  • You believe that the local resolution process has not been followed as agreed.
  • You are not satisfied with the outcome, proposed action or decision not to send the matter to CPS after a proportionate investigation.
  • The Police dis-apply your complaint
  • The Police discontinue your complaint.


Complaint Form

Please complete the form below providing as much detail as possible. It will be sent to the Professional Standards Department who will contact you in due course.

Equal Opportunities Monitoring

North Wales Police strive to deliver the best possible service to all sections of the community regardless of age, disability, gender, race, religion/belief or sexual orientation.

To help us monitor our performance in providing a fair service and to enable us to meet our legal obligations in relation to diversity, we would ask for your co-operation in providing the following information:


  • Your date of birth
  • Whether you consider yourself to be disabled
  • Your gender
  • Your ethnic or racial origins
  • Your sexual orientation
  • Your faith/belief


You can read more about what we use this information for and why we require it here (link to leaflet will appear here).

We appreciate these are issues of a very personal nature and of course you retain the right to refuse to answer them.


Any information you provide will be treated in the strictest confidence.


Details of complaint and circumstances:
Please include a postcode for the incident if possible. (please give as much information as possible)
Your details
About you (optional)