How to make a complaint

Devon & Cornwall Police is committed to providing the highest possible level of service. However, there may be occasions when you feel dissatisfied with some aspect of the service received and may wish to make a complaint.

There are a number of ways you can do this:

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

  1. What sort of complaint can I make?
  2. Who can make a complaint?
  3. What will happen to my complaint?
  4. Where can I find more information on the complaints procedure?
  5. How long will the process take?


What sort of complaint can I make?

Complaints about staff
: Such complaints are where the conduct or behaviour of a police officer or police staff member was inappropriate or fell below expectation.

Direction and Control complaints
: Such complaints are about overall force policies, commonly known as ‘organisational’ complaints. They may include operational policing policies, decisions about police resources, or general policing standards in your area.

back to questions

Who can make a complaint?

  • Someone who has been the victim of inappropriate behaviour or conduct
  • Someone who witnesses such an incident
  • Someone who has been adversely affected by the incident
  • A person acting on behalf of one of the above with their written permission.

back to questions

What will happen to my complaint?

Your complaint will be considered and a decision made about whether to record it as a Complaint against Police or not (for example, you may not be someone eligible to make a complaint as outlined in who can make a complaint).

Most cases will be suitable for resolving locally by a supervisory officer who will contact you to discuss your complaint; this will probably be a local sergeant or inspector.

Whilst all complaints are taken seriously, the most serious complaints or incidents will be dealt with by Devon and Cornwall Police’s Professional Standards Department (PSD). In certain cases the PSD may refer the matter to the IOPC who will decide on the most appropriate mode of investigation.

back to questions

Where can I find more information on the complaints procedure?

More information on this and the complaints procedure can be found on the IOPC website.

back to questions

How long will the process take?

Your complaint will be dealt with as speedily as possible and you will be informed of the progress of your complaint at least every 28 days.

back to questions

You do not have to give us your details, but without them we will not be able to contact you and it may prevent us from being able to properly investigate your complaint.

IOPC Independent Office for Police Conduct

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC)

"The IOPC oversees the police complaints system in England and Wales. 

"All complaints against the police must be recorded by the relevant police force."

Source: IOPC website

Contact details of the IOPC

Their Customer Service Team is available Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

The IOPC does not operate a face-to-face service, if you visit their offices you should not expect to be seen by a member of staff.

Telephone switchboard

0300 020 0096 (press 2 at prompt)
Lines are open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. (calls may be recorded.)


Email enquires IOPC




Visit the IOPC website for the more information.

If you submit a complaint via their online form it will be directed back to us (Devon and Cornwall Police) to investigate.

Text Relay

Deaf or hard of hearing customers can contact the IOPC via Text Relay using the following number: 18001 0207 166 3000


To post a completed complaint/review form to us, please use the following address:

Independent Office for Police Conduct
PO Box 473
M33 0BW

Please note that all correspondence and supporting documentation received by our Casework and Customer Services Directorate will be copied electronically. The paperwork will then be securely destroyed after 14 days unless the sender requests that the originals be retained, in which case they will be returned by standard delivery post. 

You can contact us using our online general enquiry form.

The above information was taken from the IOPC's website on the 08/01/2018, for the latest contact information always refer to the IOPC contact page on their website.


Professional Standards Officer
Devon & Cornwall Police, Professional Standards Dept.
Police Headquarters
Middlemoor, Exeter

Non Emergency Directory (NED)

Current location: Change

There seems to be a problem, please refresh the page and try again.

©2015 Devon and Cornwall Constabulary

Content uploaded: |
Content correct on page at last modification date.
Devon and Cornwall Police are NOT accountable for the content of external websites