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11 Dealing with the Police - updated version available September 16

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1. Introduction

2. If you have a problem with the police

3. If you are stopped and searched

4. Your options for taking action

5. Suing the police

6. How to sue the police

7. Making a complaint against a police officer

8. How to make a complaint

9. The result of your complaint

At the end of all the investigations, the police or the IPCC write a report about it. They will send you the report, although this might not be straight away if sending it to you would interfere with any prosecution or disciplinary action against the officer you are complaining about.

If the investigating police officer or the IPCC uphold (agree with) your complaint, the report will be used to decide what should happen next.

If the IPCC or the investigating police officer thinks that the officer you complained about may have committed a crime, they should ask the Crown Prosecution Service to decide whether to prosecute the officer. If the Crown Prosecution Service are not involved, or after they have finished dealing with the case, the police will decide whether to:

  • bring a disciplinary charge against the officer;
  • give them a warning; or
  • take no action against them.

Whoever investigates your complaint, you should be told regularly about how the investigation is going, and what happens to the officer you have complained against after the investigation.

If you disagree with the result of your complaint
If you disagree with the result of your complaint, you may be able to appeal against the decision. Where your complaint was dealt with by a police investigation or by an investigation supervised by the IPCC, you can appeal to the IPCC if:

  • the police didn't properly tell you the result of your complaint;
  • the police didn't send you their report;
  • the police didn't give you enough information about the investigation as it was carried out;
  • you believe that the police came to the wrong conclusion; or
  • you are not happy with the steps that the police say they will take as a result of your complaint.

10. Further help

11. About this leaflet

Liberty LogoThis 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

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