Policing is often carried out under difficult conditions. There may be times when you think we haven't delivered the service you expect.

A complaint against police is defined as: “any expression of dissatisfaction with a police force which is expressed by or on behalf of a member of the public”.

You must meet the eligibility test as explained below.

You can complete a complaint form if:

  • You are the person who the behaviour you want to complain about was directed towards.
  • You were 'adversely affected' by the behaviour or service you want to complain about.  A person is adversely affected if he or she suffers any form of loss or damage, distress or inconvenience, if he or she is put in danger or is otherwise unduly put at risk.
  • You witnessed the behaviour that you want to complain about and where physically present or sufficiently nearby (this usually means you were an eyewitness, and not for example that you saw it on TV or social media)
  • You already knew the person directly affected in relation to whom the conduct took place. 
  • Alternatively, if you have their written permission, you can make a complaint on behalf of someone else who falls into one of these categories.

Before completing the form

You should only use this form to make a complaint about West Midlands Police. The Professional Standards Department will ensure your complaint is handled in a reasonable and proportionate manner.

If you want an update on a crime you have already reported, please visit our Request an Update page. This is the fastest way to get a response.

How to make a complaint

You can submit a complaint using our online complaints form

Only use this form if you would like to complain about the standard of service we have provided to you.

Your complaint may be about:

• the quality of the service provided to you

• a failure to deliver a service to you

• the attitude or behavior of a police officer or police staff member towards you


Frequently asked questions

What are the standards that a police officer should work to?

Please have a look at the Standards of Professional Behaviour for police officers.

How long do I have to make a complaint?

There is no timescale on making a complaint against police. All complaints received by the police will be dealt with in a reasonable and proportionate way, as appropriate in the circumstances presented.

It is important to highlight time delays can impact on reasonable and proportionate actions, information, documentation and opportunities, therefore where possible a timely complaint received will assist the complaint handler progress the complaint and identify learning to make improvements in the service we provide.

How will my complaint be dealt with?

Our aim is to put right what has gone wrong and learn to improve. 

In cases where the organisation, officers and staff have acted correctly we may explain their actions to help you understand them. This can be done without needing to use the complaints procedure and your complaint will be logged on our police system.

If this is not possible, or your case is more serious, your complaint may be recorded.  There are several ways a complaint can be dealt with depending on the circumstances and how serious it is:

Otherwise than by an investigation - Less serious complaints can be dealt with by a complaint handler and enquiries are conducted. Less serious complaints are those that would not result in criminal, misconduct proceedings, Death or Serious Injury or a breach in Article 2 (right to life) or 3 (Torture) of Human Rights Act.

No further action – In appropriate circumstances, depending on the complaint, it may be reasonable and proportionate for the police to take no further action. If this is the case a written explanation will be provided to ensure a full understanding is received as to why this decision has been made in the circumstances presented.

Complaint investigation - Formal complaint investigations are for cases where it is identified as a reasonable and proportionate way of dealing with the complaint due to the circumstances presented and/or allegations are more serious.

Some investigations may be dealt with by your local police. Most will be investigated by the Professional Standards Department.

The Professional Standards Department look at each allegation independently and decide how your complaint will be dealt with.

What is the Independent Office for Police Conduct?

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has a statutory duty to secure and maintain public confidence in the police complaints system in England and Wales and to ensure that it is efficient and effective. They aim to improve public confidence in policing by ensuring the police are accountable for their actions and lessons learn’t.


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