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How to make a Formal Complaint against Police

Making a complaint against the police can be a difficult and frustrating process. The Independent Police Complaints Commission will pass complaints that they consider to be minor incidents back to the police to process, whose internal investigations often lead nowhere. That said, we will offer as much assistance as we can to support you through the process and it is important to remember that a significant number of complaints can help the political / media battle against police brutality.


1. Gather evidence of what has happened. This can be video of the incident(s) and ideally witness statements (written very soon after the incident) and the badge number of the officer or officers involved.

2. Gather evidence of your injury, if applicable. Ideally this will be something written down by a doctor. Photos are also useful.

3. Get in touch with GBC Legal if your case is related to protest and social change, we can help support you through this process, mainly by launching appeals for information relating to the incident(s).
_Please note:_
We only have the capacity to assist people with cases in our area of speciality (protest). If your case does not fall into this area please see the Netpol Solicitors List, there are plenty of good solicitors on there who can chat to about your case.

4. File your complaint via the Independent Police Complaints Commission website.

You can chose between an informal resolution, which means a chat with the police about the incident, or a formal resolution, which has the potential to lead to disciplinary action or in extreme cases charges being brought forward against the police officer(s).

In our experience, the outcome of your complaint can often be one you don't agree with. An alternative process is to contact your local MP who may take up the matter. Otherwise you may also want to consider more creative ways to organise against police brutality.

You may also wish to consider Making a Claim against the Police.