Q299: How do I make a complaint against the police?

How to Make a Complaint
Ideally we need to know the following information where possible:

• When did it happen? The time and date of the incident.
• Where did it happen? The exact location of where the incident occurred.
• What happened? Describe the incident in as much detail as you can and be specific about what it is you are concerned about.
• Who are the officer(s) or member(s) of staff you have concerns about? Provide names and collar numbers.
• Were there any witnesses to what happened? If so, provide details of how they can be contacted. In addition, indicate if evidence of injury or damage to property is available to support your concerns.
• How you would like to be contacted? Please provide your preferred method of contact.
When you have this information available you can make your complaint in a number of ways:
• Complete our online complaint form .
• Write to the Professional Standards Department, Police Headquarters Scotland, P.O. Box 21184, Alloa , FK10 9DE.
• Dial 101 and make a report of your complaint over the telephone.
• Attend at a police station in person (find your local station here)

If you are still unsure what to do
If you are dissatisfied but not sure if you have grounds for a complaint or you are unclear about our processes, please contact us so that we can discuss the circumstances with you.

My complaint is about a senior police officer (http://www.spa.police.uk/about-us/new-complaints-introduction/)
If your complaint is about the Chief Constable, a Deputy Chief Constable or an Assistant Chief Constable you should contact the Scottish Police Authority.

The Scottish Police Authority (SPA ) was established under the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 to maintain policing, promote policing principles and continuous improvement of policing, and to hold the Chief Constable to account.
The SPA Board was appointed to ensure that the people of Scotland receive the best policing possible. The Board will do this through a robust governance approach focused on securing best value, reducing duplication and keeping police officers out in our communities and tackling crime.

The SPA will hold the Chief Constable to account for the policing of Scotland and the Chief Executive of the SPA to account for its role as employer of staff and the delivery of services to the board and policing. They can be contacted at:

Scottish Police Authority
Elphinstone House
65 West Regent Street
Glasgow
G2 2AF
Telephone: 0141 534 8903, 0141 534 8877 or 0141 534 8873
Email: enquiries@spa .pnn.police.uk

BrowseAloud
The content of this web page can be read aloud using BroweAloud software. http://www.browsealoud .com/page.asp?pg_id=80004

Links to other relevant information
Advice and guidance relating to complaints about the police can also be gained by visiting the following websites:

• Citizens Advice Scotland – (http://www.cas .org.uk)
• Equality and Human Rights Commission (successor of the Commission for Racial Equality) (http://www.equalityhumanrights .com/scotland/)
• Scottish Refugee Council (http://www.scottishrefugeecouncil .org.uk)
• Scottish Government – Complaints About the Police leaflet (http://www.scotland.gov.uk)
• Police Investigations & Review Commissioner - (www.pirc .scotland.gov.uk).
• Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service – (http://www.crownoffice .gov.uk)

Malicious Complaints
Anyone who knowingly makes a false complaint about a police officer(s) or member(s) of police staff may be prosecuted by the Procurator Fiscal (and may be liable to civil action by the officer complained about).

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