Unhappy with our service? / Making a complaint

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We are sorry you were not completely satisfied with the service you received from Northumbria Police.

We want you to tell us why you are unhappy and how we could improve things to stop this from happening again.

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Who can I complain about?
You can complain about anyone working for Northumbria Police. This includes all of our police officers, police staff or contractors.

What can I complain about?
If you’re not satisfied with the service we’ve provided, you can complain. This includes if you thought or felt a police officer, staff member or contractor:

  • was rude, or aggressive towards you

  • did something inappropriate

  • caused you distress or inconvenience

  • caused you to suffer loss or damage

  • put you in danger or at risk

How do I make a complaint?

Complaints can be made via a variety of ways :

Who can make a complaint?
You can make a complaint if you are a member of the public who have

  • experienced inappropriate behaviour from a police of?cer, member of police staff or contractor working for the police.

  • witnessed in person an incident where a police officer, member of police staff or contractor working for the police acted inappropriately

  • been adversely affected by the conduct of a police officer, member of police staff or contractor working for the police, even if it did not take place in relation to you

If you are representing someone affected by any of the categories listed above, and wish to make a complaint on their behalf, you will need to have their written permission. This does not apply if you are the parent or guardian of a child aged 16 or under and wish to complain on their behalf.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) oversees the whole of the police complaints system and sets standards that the police should follow when they handle complaints. The majority of complaints are dealt with locally by police forces, usually by a supervisor or manager or a person who works in the department within the force that deals with complaints. Police forces must refer certain complaints and incidents to the IOPC – for example, an allegation that an officer has seriously assaulted someone or committed a serious sexual offence, or if someone has died or been seriously injured following direct or indirect contact with the police. The IOPC expect police forces to take complaints seriously and resolve the issues that the person making a complaint has experienced. The IOPC provides advice to the police and helps them to make benficial changes and learn from complaints. This will improve the way the police do things and prevent the same problem from happening again. Where complaints have been sent to the IOPC about Northumbria Police, the IOPC will then forward them to Northumbria Police Professional Standards Department for initial assessment.
Northumbria Police will always seek to resolve and finalise complaints as quickly as possible. We will initially try to resolve your complaint by providing you with information and an explanation. If we are unable to resolve your complaint at this stage a proportionate investigation will be conducted. As of 1st April 2015, the Police and Crime Commissioner's set a target around complaints whereby 50% of complaints are dealt within 50 days. As per IOPC targets, Northumbria will strive to record complaints within 10 days.

Complete our online complaints form by clicking here.

This facility is not monitored 24/7 and should NOT be used to report emergencies and incidents or to pass on information to police.

In an emergency, always telephone 999. 

To report an incident or give information to police, you can use the dedicated online non-emergency incident reporting form.
If you are not making a complaint about a member of staff or policies, procedures and operational decisions, you can still tell us about how we failed to deliver the service you expected. 

Your disappointment could be because a police officer or member of police staff was late for or missed an appointment, they did not return your call or respond to an email, they failed to keep you up to date on developments in your case or there could be some other reason. 

You can report your dissatisfaction with a service we delivered here

This facility is not monitored 24/7 and should NOT be used to report emergencies and incidents or to pass on information to police.

In an emergency, always telephone 999. 

To report an incident or give information to police, you can use the dedicated online non-emergency incident reporting form or alternatively phone 101. 

Alternatively, you can contact any of the following:

We can only help with issues relating to Northumbria Police. If you want to comment about another police force please visit www.police.uk to identify the appropriate police force. 

To see how we treat personal information provided to us please read the disclaimer/privacy statement

Providing your own details is not compulsory but it is essential if you want us to make contact with you. 

Please be aware that it is a criminal offence to waste police time by knowingly reporting false information. 

If you wish to make a complaint about the Chief Constable you can do so by contacting the Police & Crime Commissioner for Northumbria.
You may be able to appeal if you’re not happy with the outcome of your complaint. 

We’ll tell you where to send your appeal at the end of the investigation; this will be either the Professional Standards Department (PSD) at Northumbria Police or the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). We’ll tell you the date by which you have to submit your appeal. This is generally within 28 days of being informed of the outcome of our investigation. 

Where we do accept an appeal for review, we won’t be re-investigating your complaint itself. An appeal is a review of how the investigation was completed. We’ll tell you the result of the review; whether it’s upheld or not upheld. 

PSD Appeals

PSD will deal with all appeals which relate to: 

  • Complaints which have been dealt with under local resolution

  • Complaints which were unlikely to result in formal misconduct or criminal proceedings

  • Appeals against disapplication of your complaint

If you’re directed to appeal to PSD please complete the the appropriate appeal found below form and either send or email it to us at the following addresses:

Post Professional Standards Department, Northumbria Police, Newcastle City Centre Police Station, Forth Banks, Newcastle Upon Tyne. NE1 3PH

Email  professionalstandards@northumbria.pnn.police.uk


Appeal against investigation Form (Word Document)

Appeal against Local Resolution Form (Word Document)

Appeal against Disapplication Form (Word Document)

Appeal against the decision to discontinue (Word Document)

We’ll review your appeal and let you know whether we uphold it or not. And we’ll tell you the reasons for our decision.

Where we uphold your appeal, your complaint may be returned for re-investigation. You’ll have the right to appeal the result of any re-investigation.

Where we don’t uphold your appeal, you can’t appeal our decision.

IOPC Appeals

The IOPC may consider appeals about:

  • our failure to record a complaint

  • the outcome of a local or supervised investigation.

The IOPC will consider your appeal and, if appropriate, it can direct Northumbria Police to change its decision or to take further action with your complaint.

You can’t appeal to the IOPC if the original investigation into your complaint was managed or carried out by them.

Find out more about IOPC appeals at their website.