Making a complaint

How to make a complaint

If you think that a police officer or member of police staff has behaved incorrectly or unfairly, you have the right to make a complaint.

People who work in the police service should behave appropriately at all times. Expectations about the behaviour of both police officers and members of police staff are set out in their respective Standards of Professional Behaviour. These expectations include requirements to:

  • Act with honesty and integrity, fairness and impartiality
  • Treat members of the public and their colleagues with respect
  • Not abuse their powers and authority
  • Act in a manner that does not discredit or undermine public confidence in the police service.

If you feel that someone working for the police has not met these standards, you can express your dissatisfaction or you can make a complaint. These types of complaints are dealt with under the Police Reform Act 2002.

The online complaint forms should not be used for crime reporting. If a crime is in progress or you are in immediate danger please call 999 or 101 in all other circumstances.

Making a complaint

You can make a formal complaint by either:

  • Completing this online form
  • Attending any your local police station in person and speaking to the duty Inspector.
  • In writing to -  Merseyside Police,  Professional Standards Department,  PO BOX 59, Liverpool, L69 1JD
  • Telephone Merseyside Police Non-Emergency number 101, a Contact Resolution Officer will take your details including contact information, and a brief summary of the complaint. The matter will be recorded on a log and brought to the attention of the relevant Inspector who will contact you.
  • You can also make a complaint through your solicitor, MP, local councillor, Citizens Advice Bureau or any other person or body that represents your interests, if they agree and provided you give your written consent.
  • Contact any local Citizens Advice Bureau, Youth Offending Team, Racial Equality Council, Probation Service or Neighbourhood Team. They can give you information about what to do next.

You’re able to access additional information or formats by visiting the IPCC website at:

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) oversees the whole of the police complaints system and makes its decisions independently of the police, government and complainants.

Police forces deal directly with most complaints against their officers, staff and contractors, while the IPCC investigates the most serious complaints, incidents and allegations of misconduct.

Complaints should be made to the relevant Police Force as any material sent to the IPCC will be forwarded to the appropriate policing area to consider in the first instance.

We may decide not to progress your complaint, which means we won’t be looking into it in more detail. There are a number of reasons we may do this. These include if your complaint is:

  • The complaint is sent to us more than 12 months after the incident, with no reasonable explanation for the delay.
  • The complaint is Vexatious, oppressive, or an abuse of process
  • The complaint is Repetitious or fanciful

Depending on the complaint, you can appeal to the IPCC against our decision not to progress your complaint. Find out more information on the IPPC appeals page.

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