Police malpractice advice

This advice is for people who have experienced problems with the police and wish to make a complaint and seek redress.


Contact your Chief Constable

You can phone, email or write to the Chief Constable of your local police force, setting out your grievance and the remedy you seek. Find out how to contact him or her by calling your local police station or by looking up the website for your local police service.


Independent Office for Police Conduct

If you are not satisfied with the response you get from your Chief Constable, you should contact the Independent Office for Police Conduct. They are responsible for handling appeals from people who feel they have been badly treated by the police or who feel that the Chief Constable has not dealt with their grievance correctly.

The postal address is:

Independent Office for Police Conduct
PO Box 473
M33 0BW

They can be contacted on 0300 020 0096 from Monday to Friday between 9am to 5pm.

The website, with all the details, is here: https://policeconduct.gov.uk/

You can email them here: [email protected]


Other organisations that you could approach for help, support and advice are as follows:



Liberty is the main civil liberties watchdog. Defending human rights and challenging abuses, it assists individuals who feel that their rights and freedoms have been violated by the criminal justice system, including the police, judiciary and prison service.

Liberty works to protect civil liberties and promote human rights for everyone. Their website is here:


Liberty Human Rights Information Line provides free legal information about public law and human rights law issues within England and Wales.

Public law and human rights issues involve a disagreement between an individual and a public body, such as the government, the council or the police. They can’t provide information on topics that don’t involve public bodies.

They can explain the legal background to your situation and offer some practical next steps. They can’t provide specific legal advice on an ongoing legal case and they can’t offer legal representation over the phone.

Liberty Human Rights Information Line can be found here:

You can reach the Liberty Human Rights Information Line by calling 0800 988 8177 and selecting option 3 from the main menu.


The Line runs three times a week at the following times:

Monday evenings from 6pm to 8pm
Tuesday lunchtimes from 12pm to 2pm
Thursday evenings from 6pm to 8pm.



Justice is a human rights organisation that promotes improvements in the British legal system – through research, education, lobbying and interventions in the courts.
They do not normally take on individual cases but they sometimes publicise particularly severe abuses and cite them as evidence for changes in the law (which may help you).

Its website is here: http://www.justice.org.uk/

They can be contacted by phone on 020 7329 5100 or by email on [email protected]

Their postal address is:
59 Carter Lane



Inquest is a charity that provides a free advice service to bereaved people whose loved ones have died in police custody.

Their website is: http://www.inquest.org.uk/

Inquest is staffed Monday to Friday and they run an answering machine service. If you leave a message, someone will call you back as soon as possible.

They can be contacted by phone on 020 7263 1111 or by email using the contact form on their website.

You can write by email: [email protected]

Their postal address is:
3rd Floor
89-93 Fonthill Road
N4 3JH



Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) victims of police abuses can contact Galop – the LGBT police monitoring agency. They specialise in dealing with homophobic hate crime and harassment. But they also assist people who feel they have been treated unfairly or homophobically by the police. Although London-focussed, they can offer advice and help wherever you call from.

Their website is here: http://www.galop.org.uk/

You can call their helpline on 020 7704 2040 (London) or 0800 999 5428 (National). Their email address is [email protected]

You can also report an incident online here: http://www.galop.org.uk/report/

They are located at:
Resource For London
356 Holloway Rd
N7 6PA


Other options

Another option is to seek the advice and support of your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau or Neighbourhood Law Centre.


Contact your MP 

Finally, you should contact your local MP  and ask them to take up your case. Support from an elected politician can often prompt the police to take your complaint more seriously.

You can find out your local MP, and email them direct, from this website: http://www.writetothem.com/

You can also phone your MP’s office at the House of Commons via the main switchboard: 0207 219 3000. Ask for the MP’s secretary or researcher.
Even better, visit your local MP at their weekly advice surgery. The location, dates and times can be obtained from your local town hall or library – or from the website of your local MP.