Complaints and claims against the police – have you been mistreated?

actions against the police call

In this guide, we’ll discuss the reasons why a person may wish to take action against the police, including the difference between making a claim and filing a complaint.  

Taking action against the police

All officers and police organisations are bound to a code of ethics and rules laid out by the law. If you feel that the police have broken this code in any way, you could have a case.

Depending on the situation, you may wish to make a claim for monetary compensation (e.g. wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, injuries suffered), or a complaint (resulting in disciplinary action).

What can you claim against the police for?

There are a number of reasons why you may wish to make a complaint or claim against the police.

Perhaps you’ve been a victim of police discrimination or police assault?

Both instances would fall under the umbrella of a serious breach of conduct and likely lead to a full investigation.

Types of complaint you can make against the police

Serious conduct complaints

Serious conduct complaints often require a full investigation and can result in disciplinary action – i.e. a police officer being rendered unfit for duty and suspended or dismissed.

The Independent Complaints Commission will always deal with serious conduct complaints of this nature.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is an independent government body that investigates serious conduct complaints and actions brought against the police.

Our solicitors can advise you on the severity of your case.


Unprofessional conduct – report a police officer who is unfit for duty

There are various claims you can make against the police. Some are more serious than others, but it’s important to note that all are equally as important.

Making a claim or an action against the police can be a long, lengthy and complex process, which is why it’s important to seek legal advice or representation from a solicitor.

Remember, you should make a claim against the police if you wish to seek compensation for damages to personal property.

Will the police know who I am if I make a complaint?

It is possible to make a claim or complaint against the police anonymously, however, doing so could hinder the success of your case.

The IPCC may feel they do not have enough adequate information to investigate a complaint further.

That being said there are instances when a person may receive anonymity, such as sexual assault cases.

Is there a time limit on actions or complaints against the police?

If you’re planning to take action against the police, take note that there are time limits.

The time limit depends on the type of claim or complaint.

Discrimination actions are valid within six months of the incident happening, whereas assault actions are valid for three years for personal injury, or six years otherwise.

For a full breakdown, visit our actions against the police page.


How much is a lawsuit against the police? The cost of making a claim

Making a claim against the police can be costly. It is always worth taking the potential legal fees for claiming against the police by seeking advice from one of our solicitors.

Fortunately you can make a no win, no fee case against the police with the help of DPP Law.

You may even qualify for free legal aid, providing you’re unemployed, have a low income or other high financial commitments.

For more information about making a claim against the police, including case studies from people we’ve helped in the past, click here.

Alternatively, why not get in touch with an experienced member of our team for helpful legal advice and guidance?