How to appeal about how your complaint was handled - the outcome of your complaint

You may be able to appeal to the Constabulary if you have made a complaint about the police and you are not happy with the way it was handled or you were not happy with the outcome.

Appeals about complaints made before 22nd November 2012

If you made your complaint before 22nd November 2012, you should appeal to the IPCC 

Appeals about complaints made on or after 22nd November 2012

If you made your complaint on or after 22nd November 2012, you should appeal to the appropriate appeal body (either the IPCC or the Constabulary).  You will have been informed about which appeal body to make your appeal to in the final outcome letter from the Constabulary.

What can I appeal about?

Can I appeal about the decision to disapply in relation to my complaint and the outcome of my disapplied complaint?

An appeal can be made against a decision to disapply.  Disapply means stopping the complaints process before an investigation begins.

You can appeal if:

  • your complaint was about the conduct of a police officer or member of staff
  • you do not think the police should have decided to disapply your complaint
  • you are not happy with the action that was taken after the decision to disapply
  • you are not happy that no action was taken
  • you do not agree with the outcome of your complaint after the decision to disapply
  • you think that the outcome of your complaint after the decision to disapply was not a proper one.  This means that, for example, you believe the outcome was not appropriate to the complaint, or the outcome did not reflect the evidence available

However, you cannot appeal when the complaint relates to a direction and control issue.  Direction and control means the overall policies of a police force, for example police resources and policing standards.

Can I appeal about the decision to discontinue the investigation into my complaint?

Discontinue means to end an ongoing investigation into a complaint.  An appeal can be made about a decision to discontinue an investigation into a complaint.

You can appeal if:

  • your complaint was about the conduct of a police officer or member of police staff
  • you do not think the police should have discontinued the investigation

However, you cannot appeal when the complaint relates to a direction and control issue.  Direction and control means the overall policies of a police force, for example police resources and policing standards.

Can I appeal about the outcome of my locally resolved complaint?

If you made a complaint about the police that was dealt with using local resolution and you are not happy with the outcome you may be able to appeal.

The exception to this is when the complaint was about a direction and control issue.  Direction and control means the overall policies of a police force, for example police resources and policing standards.

You can appeal if:

  • you do not agree with the outcome of the local resolution
  • you think that the outcome of the local resolution of your complaint was not a proper one.  This means that, for example, you believe the outcome was not appropriate to the complaint, or the outcome did not reflect the evidence available.

You cannot appeal against the way in which the local resolution was handled.  This means that you cannot appeal because you are unhappy with the process followed to locally resolve your complaint.

Can I appeal about the investigation into my complaint?

If you made a complaint about the police and it has been investigated you may be able to appeal.

You can appeal if:

  • you have not received enough information about the findings of the investigation or what action the police plan to take
  • you disagree with the findings of the investigation
  • you disagree with the action the police plan to take as a result of the investigation
  • you do not think the police have made the right decision about whether an officer or member of staff you complained about has a case to answer for misconduct, gross misconduct, or whether their performance was unsatisfactory
  • you disagree with a decision the police have made not to refer the investigation of your complaint to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)

However, you cannot appeal when the complaint relates to a direction and control issue.  Direction and control means the overall policies of a police force, for example police resources and policing standards.

How will the Police deal with my appeal?

Once we have received your appeal form, we will send you a letter to acknowledge receipt.

An Appeals Officer will review your appeal and all the documentation held on your complaint file.  The Appeals Officer will assess your appeal and make a decision about it.

Appeal Outcomes

If your appeal is upheld, the Appeals Officer will instruct the Appropriate Authority about what they should do about your complaint.  The Appropriate Authority must follow these instructions.  The Appeals Officer will tell you in writing about the instructions that have been given and explain what happens next.

If your appeal is not upheld, the Appeals Officer will write to you explaining how and why they made this decision.   The Appeals Officer’s decisions are final and no other body including the IPCC can reverse them.  Any decisions made by the Appeals Officer can only be overturned by the courts through the judicial review process.  If you are seeking to reverse a case decision you should seek legal advice.

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