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Putting in a complaint about the police or CP

If you are unhappy with the way the police or CPS have behaved towards you or handled your case then you can put in a complaint. This legal guide explains your options.

If you are unhappy with the way the police or CPS have behaved towards you or handled your case then you can put in a complaint.

If your complaint is about a decision not to proceed with a case against an abuser, check first whether you are able to use the victim’s right to review scheme.

Complaining about the police

Each police force will have its own internal complaint process, and information will be available on that police force’s website about how to use it.

You can also complain to the Independent Office for Police Conduct’s (IOPC). In the first instance, the IOPC will send the complaint directly to the police force involved for you.

You can find out more about the IOPC, and how to complain direct to local police forces, here: https://www.policeconduct.gov.uk/complaints-reviews-and-appeals/make-complaint

Complaining about the CPS

The CPS has its own complaints scheme:

Stage One

Stage One is managed by the local CPS Area where the complaint originated. They will look into your complaint and reply within 20 working days, or write to you stating the date by which they hope to reply.

Stage Two

If you are dissatisfied with the response received at Stage One, the complaint can be escalated within one month of the CPS’s reply and a more senior manager will review your complaint. They will provide a response within 20 working days, or write to you providing the date by which they hope to reply.

Stage Three

If your complaint refers to the way the CPS have conducted themselves (i.e. how they behaved towards you), the complaint can then be referred to the Independent Assessor of Complaints (IAC). This must be done within one month of the Stage Two reply.

You can find out more about the CPS complaints process and the IAC here: https://www.cps.gov.uk/feedback-and-complaints