Making a Complaint
Complaints about Police Officers or Staff
If you have a complaint about a police officer or any other employee of North Wales Police, you can make your complaint in any of the following ways:
- Complete an online form (found below)
- Go to any police station and ask for your complaint to be recorded.
- Contact the Professional Standards Department via 101 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.
- Contact the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Please find details on the PCC website.
- Contact the IOPC (Independent Office of Police Conduct) PO Box 473, Sale, M33 0BW, Tel: 030 0020 0096 or go to http://www.policeconduct.gov.uk The IOPC have produced a guide to the complaints process which can be found on the IOPC website.
- 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will my complaint be resolved? (Click for more information)
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:
Less serious complaints will be dealt with by your local police station. This 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 IOPC which will then decide how the matter should be progressed.
How will I be kept informed of the progress of an investigation? (Click for more information)
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 IOPC. 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? (Click for more information)
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 an 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.
- If learning points are identified as a result of the investigation, we will ensure these are used to improve the service and minimise the chance of a recurrence of the issue which gave rise to the complaint.
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.
What is Disapplication? (Click for more information)
There are certain limited circumstances in which a recorded complaint does not have to be dealt with under the Police Reform Act 2002. This is called disapplication and means that an appropriate authority may disapply the requirements of Schedule 3 of the Police Reform Act 2002 in relation to a complaint.
The appropriate authority may instead handle a recorded complaint in whatever manner it thinks fit, including taking no action on it. A disapplication may only take place if the complaint fits one or more of the following:
- More than 12 months have elapsed between the incident, or the latest incident, giving rise to the complaint and the making of the complaint and either that no good reason for the delay has been shown or that injustice would be likely to be caused by the delay.
- The matter is already the subject of a complaint made by or on behalf of the same complainant.
- The complaint discloses neither the name and address of the complainant nor that of any other interested person and it is not reasonably practicable to ascertain such a name or address.
- The complaint is vexatious, oppressive or otherwise an abuse of the procedures for dealing with complaints.
- The complaint is repetitious.
- It is not reasonably practicable to complete the investigation of the complaint or any other procedures under Schedule 3 to the Police Reform Act 2002.
How can I appeal the investigation into my complaint? (Click for more information)
You have the right of appeal to the IOPC if the Police do not record your complaint.
- The Appeal body will either be the IOPC or the Superintendent at the Professional Standards Department who will have had no dealings with the investigation.
- The Appeal body will be noted at the end of the decision letter you receive from your Professional Standards Department.
- If the Appeal body is the Police, you can request an appeal form from the Professional Standards Department by means of any of the contact details above.
- The Superintendent will seek to review any appeals within 3 months and you will be kept updated should the period extend beyond this.
Easy read guide
Quarterly Complaints and Conduct Data
North Wales is a geographical area of over 6200 square kilometres, covering the counties of Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham. Our force is comprised of over 2600 officers and staff, who are committed to delivering our strategic vision of a safer North Wales.
Our control room receives over 529,000 calls a year, resulting in officers and staff dealing with over 225,000 incidents. We dealt with over 36,000 recorded crimes in the last year.
Providing a good quality of service to the public is important to us, but sometimes we don't get things quite right. The Professional Standards Department is responsible for the management of conduct issues and complaints against police.
Quarterly Complaints and Conduct Data (IOPC website - click on 'Read the latest bulletins' to access data)