How to make a complaint
How do I make a complaint?
The links below are here to guide you through the process of making a complaint about South Yorkshire Police. Please click on the relevant question to find out more information:
How do I make a complaint about an individual member of police staff?
You can make a complaint about a police officer of any rank or other representatives of the police including support staff, special constables and community support officers by any of the following methods:
1. Go into a police station and ask to see the duty inspector or duty sergeant.
2. Ring your local police station or write to the Force Professional Standards Department at:
Sheffield 35A Business Park
3. Send an e-mail to: Complaints_and_Discipline@southyorks.pnn.police.uk
4. Contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau, Race Equality Council or other representative Group.
5. Contact a Solicitor, MP or Councillor.
6. Nominate a person to act on your behalf.
Once you have made your complaint a record will be made containing the details of your complaint such as what happened, where the incident happened and who was involved.
What if my concern is not about the conduct of an individual?
Complaints or enquiries about organisational matters, service delivery or other operational policing issues should be directed to the District Commander for the area in which you live (visit their site via the ‘Local Police’ section on the homepage).
Complaints about central services such as call handling, road policing and crime recording should be directed to the Chief Superintendent in charge of our Operational Support Services Department at the following address:
The Operations Complex
Complaints or enquiries relating to criminal justice issues e.g. custody or the courts, should be directed to the Chief Superintendent in charge of our Criminal Justice and Administration Department at the address below:
Criminal Justice and Administration Dept
Who looks after the complaint process?
The Police Reform Act 2002 governs how complaints against police staff should be dealt with. This act created the Independent Police Complaints Commission, replacing the previous Police Complaints Authority.
The police record all complaints and each force has a Professional Standards Department (PSD) set up to receive and investigate complaints.
Complaints about the conduct of an individual member of South Yorkshire Police staff should be made to our Professional Standards Department, which operates independently from the rest of the force. The department is located at the following address:
Sheffield 35A Business Park
Certain complaints of a serious nature will actually be investigated or supervised by the IPCC.
How will my complaint be resolved?
Most complaints will be resolved at a local level through a process called local resolution.
Allegations of rudeness, for example, are unlikely to be the subject of a full investigation but we will investigate other complaints or refer them to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
So what is local resolution?
Many complaints can be resolved quickly and satisfactorily at a local level by officers working in the community.
Local resolution is intended to be quick and flexible providing the opportunity to explain your concerns to the police and receive an adequate response.
You will be asked to give your consent to the use of local resolution and once this has been given we will agree an action plan with you aimed at resolving your complaint as quickly as possible.
How do I find out what’s happening with an ongoing investigation?
Whether the Police or the IPCC is investigating your complaint you will be informed about:
• How your complaint will be investigated.
• What co-operation they require from you.
• How a decision will be reached.
• The action that may be taken at the conclusion of an investigation.
The investigator will also agree with you how often and by which method you would like to be kept informed.
What will happen when the investigation is finished?
At the end of the investigation we will inform you of the conclusions, which could be:
• Not enough evidence to uphold your complaint. This does not mean that you have not been believed, rather that there is insufficient evidence to prove or disprove the allegation(s) made.
• We may decide to improve or amend our procedures in response to a complaint.
• We may take formal disciplinary or other management action against a member of staff.
• We may refer your case to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on criminal prosecution.
Do I have a right of appeal?
You may have a right of appeal to the Independent Police Complaints Commission if:
• We have not recorded your complaint.
• We have not made a decision whether to record your complaint.
• We have not informed you of our decision not to record your complaint.
• You believe that local resolution procedures have not been carried out properly.
• You disagree with the action we propose to take as a result of the investigation.
• You have not been provided with adequate information about the findings of the investigation.
• You are not satisfied with the outcome of the Police investigation.
You can appeal to the IPCC on the following address:
Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)
90 High Holborn
Tel: 0207 166 3000
Can I get an old complaint re-investigated?
If your complaint has already been dealt with and closed you can’t get it re-opened or re-investigated.