Not something you expect to do everyday but sometimes you just have to out of principal. I recently raised an IPCC complaint against two Police Officers – PC Wharton and DS Czajkowski of Lincolnshire Police for their conduct and unauthorised release of sensitive information during an incident(s) lodged with Lincolnshire Police between 2nd and 19th November 2012. This was part of the lead-up to my unlawful arrest and detention in a Civil Law case involving a third party and what appears to have been rather over-zealous actions by solicitor Miss Emily Slater of Cohen Cramer Solicitors, Leeds. The release of this information was discovered after the 19th November 2012 in an affidavit by Miss Emily Slater dated 23rd November 2012 written and sworn at the request of His Honour Judge Anthony Thornton QC on 19th November 2012.
- Read this guide to the police complaints system – by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)
- Then this IPCC webpage – http://www.ipcc.gov.uk/en/Pages/your_complaint_.aspx or download the PDF and assess if you have sufficient grounds etc. to complain
- Then complete the online complaint form – https://secureforms.ipcc.gov.uk/Pages/form_complaint.aspx – other options are available e.g. download a Microsoft Word version of the form, request a hard-copy form – but easiest just to fill in the boxes. Of course like all “government and councils” the IPCC provide all the usual alternative formats should you require them e.g. Braille, Audio, Large Print etc and don’t forget the different language versions!
Then what happens ? You should get a confirmation email/letter or phone call about the complaint. Although the IPCC itself is an independent body, your complaint will actually get investigated by the Professional Standards Department (or its equivalent) in that very same Police Force you may be complaining about – a bit like a company “complaints department”. The IPCC state “When you make a complaint, you can expect the police force to listen to you, act in a fair and balanced way and seek to put things right.”.
Once investigated, you will then get a signed report from the Head of Department for the PSD (or equivalent) with a letter either upholding your complaint i.e. you were right to complain, or rejecting your complaint. The detailed report will vary in contents but I have found mine so far to be an interesting read – more on those another time. The report is then yours to do what you like with.
If the complaint is found in your favour – what next ? Well that can vary and depends heavily on what the complaint was about. As my complaints so far have been complex and rather involved the next stage for me is also complex – enter into the realms of Civil Law and Civil Action against the Police.