Reporting Dissatisfaction and Complaints Against Staff
Reporting dissatisfaction with a service you have received
This guide sets out the standards of service we aim to achieve when you report any dissatisfaction with a service you have received. If you would like to report dissatisfaction as opposed to making a complaint about an officer or member of staff please click here.
Please view the following standards of professional behaviour we aim to achieve.
All members of staff at Dyfed Powys Police know the vital importance of providing the highest possible level of service to the public, although, there may be an occasion where you feel that the conduct of an officer/member of staff falls below the standard that can be expected, or that their actions may amount to misconduct. If this happens, you have the right to complain.
Making a complaint about the conduct of an individual police officer or member of police staff.
What can I complain about?
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 make a complaint. These types of complaints are dealt with under the Police Reform Act 2002.
Other types of complaint
Complaints about the overall policies or procedures of a police force are often referred to as Direction and Control issues. These can include complaints about the organisation of a police force or general policing standards in your local area.
How can I make a complaint about the conduct of a person serving with the police?
There are several ways to make a complaint to Dyfed Powys Police:
- Visit a Police Station where a Senior Officer will see you
- Contact your Solicitor, your M.P., Citizens Advice Bureau or support agency, Probation Service or you could nominate a person to act on your behalf (written consent would need to be provided).
- Contact the Equality and Human Rights Commission, http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/about-us/advice-from-our-helpline/ or Telephone: 0845 604 8810.
- Write to the Professional Standards Department, Dyfed-Powys Police, PO Box 99, Llangunnor, Carmarthen, SA31 2PF
- Telephone – ring 101 and ask for Professional Standards
- Email – email@example.com
- Online form – Fill in our complaints form which will be emailed to the Professional Standards
- Contact the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) – Independent Police Complaints Commission, 90 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6BH. Tel number 0300 020 0096, email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Web address: www.ipcc.gov.uk. For advice in other languages on the IPCC site, click here.
Making your complaint
Your complaint will be recorded by the Professional Standards Department (PSD) who has overall responsibility for recording and handling complaints about the conduct of individual officers or members of police staff.
If your complaint is with regard to officers up to and including the rank of Deputy Chief Constable
the recording decision will be made by PSD.
It should be noted that PSD is completely separate from the officers or members of staff complained about.
If your complaint is with regard a conduct of the Chief Constable then you should direct your complaint to the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed-Powys who is responsible for considering such complaints.
For information on how to make a complaint about the Police and Crime Commissioner, or the staff of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, please visit the website of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
What should I include?
- What happened
- When it happened
- Who was involved
- What was said or done
- Whether there were witnesses other than yourself or the police officer/member of police staff
- Details of any damage or injury that took place
- The identity of the officer/member of staff (if known)
- What are you complaining about
- What outcome are you seeking
- How you can be contacted, including your address, telephone numbers or email address as applicable.
How will my complaint be dealt with?
Once your complaint is accepted and recorded as being about the conduct of a police officer or member of police staff, and then it will be dealt with in one of two ways.
Local Resolution (LR)
LR is an informal approach to resolving complaints. It allows the Force to learn lessons and improve the way we do things. Many people prefer their complaint to be dealt with in this way as it is a quick and effective way of resolving complaints.
If your complaint is addressed through LR, a local manager will discuss your complaint with you and draw up an agreed action plan covering the issues you have raised.
If at the end of the LR process you are dissatisfied with the process followed or the outcome, you have a right of appeal to either the Appropriate Authority in Dyfed-Powys Police or the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) – this will depend on the complaint that has been recorded. You will be informed who the relevant appeal body is. For more information visit the IPCC website.
If your complaint is not suitable for LR, a local investigation will be carried out by an investigator. The investigator will usually be assigned from PSD but they could be from your local policing area.
You will be informed how your complaint will be investigated, what cooperation is required from you, how a decision will be reached and what action will be taken at the end of the investigation. The type of investigation will depend on the nature and seriousness of your complaint and the likely outcome. An investigation might range from telephone enquiries conducted in a few hours to a more extensive process perhaps taking a number of months.
You can appeal to either the Appropriate Authority in Dyfed-Powys Police or the IPCC if you are unhappy with the outcome of the police investigation into your complaint. You will be informed who is relevant appeal body is. For more information visit the IPCC website (www.ipcc.gov.uk).
Appealing against the way the police have handled your complaint
As highlighted above - if you have made a complaint against the police and you are not happy with the way it has been handled, you may be able to appeal to either the Appropriate Authority in Dyfed-Powys Police or to the IPCC. There are 4 different types of appeal:
- Appeals against a complaint not being recorded
- Appeals against a decision to ‘disapply’ your complaint (i.e. a decision not to investigate your complaint)
- Appeals against a decision to ‘discontinue’ your complaint (i.e. a decision to stop investigating your complaint after an investigation has started)
- Appeals against the local resolution process or outcome
- Appeals against the police investigation into your complaint
For more information visit the IPCC website appeal pages.
The role of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)
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 Dyfed Powys Police 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 Dyfed Powys Police. In order to have your complaint dealt with as quickly as possible, we advise you to complain to Dyfed Powys Police using one of the methods set out above.
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 (referred to an Independent Investigation). 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.
Where do I get more information from as to how I can make a complaint?
Further information is available from the IPCC website or by requesting a leaflet entitled “how to make a complaint” which is available via the IPCC website.