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
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
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
- not abuse the powers and authority police officers are
- 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. A list of police stations can be found here.
- 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: ProfStandardsEnquiries@nthwales.pnn.police.uk
- 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
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.
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 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.
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 or by an
Investigating officer. In very serious cases, the
Professional Standards Department must refer the complaint to the
IPCC which will then decide how the matter should be
How will I be kept informed of the progress of an
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
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
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 believe that the local resolution process has not been
followed as agreed.
- You are not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation
into your complaint.
- You disagree with the action that the force proposes to take as
a result of the investigation.
- 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.
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
- 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