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11 Dealing with the Police - updated version available September 16
7. Making a complaint against a police officer
The system for making complaints against the police has changed recently. A new organisation, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), now oversees complaints against police officers. It took over from the Police Complaints Authority on 1 April 2017.
There are four main reasons why you might want to make a complaint against the police rather than sue them.
However, you cannot get compensation by making a complaint. All you can get from a complaint is an apology, although it may also lead to the police officer concerned being disciplined, dismissed or even prosecuted. There is nothing to stop you making a complaint before deciding whether to sue the police.
What can I complain about?
You cannot complain in this way about general police procedures or policies (known as 'direction and control issues').
This leaflet is published by the Legal Services Commission (LSC). It was written in association with Liberty.
The leaflets are regularly updated but the law may have changed since they were printed so the information in them may be incorrect or out of date.
Leaflet Version: August 2017
CLS Legal Info Leaflets