Complaints Procedure

Making a complaint about the conduct of an individual police officer or member of police staff. It is important that you read the information on this page in full before making a complaint.


What can you complain about?

You can complain if you are not satisfied with the service you have received from the police.

How can you make a complaint?

There are several ways to make a complaint to Cleveland Police

What should your complaint say?

The information you will need to provide to make a complaint.

What happens when you make a complaint?

The complaint process.

Why could your complaint not be dealt with?

Reasons why your complaint could not be dealt with

What do you do if you are not happy with the way your complaint was handled?

If you are unhappy with the way your complaint has been dealt with you may be able to appeal.

The role of the Independent Police Complaints Commission

Complaints about the conduct of people serving with the police can be sent to the IPCC, but the IPCC does not have the power to record complaints. If you complain to the IPCC, it must, by law, forward the complaint back to the force involved for consideration. Due to the exceptionally high numbers of complaints made to the IPCC, it can take a number of weeks before a complaint is forwarded to the relevant police force.

The IPCC also investigates the most serious complaints and allegations of misconduct against the police in England and Wales. These complaints are referred to the IPCC by police forces. The IPCC may decide to investigate an incident using its own investigators. Alternatively, it can manage or supervise a police investigation into the matter. The IPCC will only conduct independent investigations into incidents that cause the greatest level of public concern – for example, deaths in or following police custody.