Making a complaint

Complaints can be made about members of police staff or police officers, our policies or procedures and the service we provide as an organisation.

Examples of the service provided or policies and procedures are:

  • how we have run a crime initiative,
  • how we organise and deploy police resources.

The definition of a complaint is:

Any expression of dissatisfaction with a police force which is expressed (whether in writing or otherwise) by or on behalf of a member of the public.

If you feel a police officer or police staff member has acted improperly, or you feel that a policy or procedure has had an adverse impact on you or if you are unhappy with the service you have received from Gwent Police, you can make a complaint under this definition.

The formal complaints procedure is dictated by statute (Police Reform Act 2002 and Policing and Crime Act 2017) and is overseen by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

We will aim to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction in the most appropriate and timely manner.

Complaints can be progressed as dissatisfactions or as recorded complaints. How your complaint will be progressed will be discussed and agreed with you at the beginning of the process.

The majority of dissatisfactions and complaints will be progressed by staff within the Professional Standards Department; certain complaints may be investigated or overseen by the IOPC.

A member of the Professional Standards Department will discuss with you who will be progressing your complaint at the beginning of the process.

The emphasis on the complaints system is on learning and improving.

If we identify ways to improve our service delivery as a result of your complaint we will ensure you are made aware.

Complaints about policies, procedures and our service delivery

A member of the public who:

  • Was adversely affected by the matter complained about,
  • Someone acting on behalf of someone who was adversely affected by the matter complained about. This can be a family member, friend, legal representative or any other person.

A young person under 16 years old should not normally need to provide written permission for a parent or guardian to act for them in this way.

Complaints about the conduct of members of staff within Gwent Police

A member of the public who:

  • Claims to be the person in relation to whom the conduct took place,
  • Claims to have been adversely affected by the conduct,
  • Claims to have witnessed the conduct,
  • Is acting on behalf of someone who satisfies one of the above.  This can be a family member, friend, legal representative or any other person.

A young person under 16 years old should not normally need to provide written permission for a parent or guardian to act for them in this way.

Adversely affected:

A person will be considered to have been adversely affected if they have suffered any form of loss, damage, distress or inconvenience as a result of the matter complained about, if they have been put in danger or otherwise unduly put at risk of being adversely affected.

Witness:

A person can be said to be a witness to the conduct if, and only if:

  • They have acquired their knowledge of the conduct in a manner which would make them a witness capable of giving evidence of the conduct in criminal proceedings,
  • They possess or have in their control anything that could be used as admissible evidence in such proceedings.

A person can make a complaint on someone else’s behalf if:

  • They have the written consent from the person on whose behalf they are making the complaint.
  • This can be a family member, friend, legal representative or any other person.

A young person under 16 years old should not normally need to provide written permission for a parent or guardian to act for them in this way.

You can make a complaint by any of the following methods. Whatever the route, all complaints, by law, must be recorded by the police force itself. Complaints can be made direct to the force or the IOPC.

To make a complaint you can contact Gwent Police Professional Standards Department (PSD) by:

  • Telephone on 101,
  • Post at Gwent Professional Standards Department (PSD), Police Headquarters, Turnpike Road, Croesyceiliog, Cwmbran, NP44 2XJ,
  • Completing the Online Complaints Form.

Gwent Police has the responsibility to document all complaints. The Professional Standards Department is responsible for the handling, progression and outcome of the majority of complaints.

The Professional Standards Department operates independently from the rest of the force.

Certain complaints may be investigated or supervised by the IOPC.

You will be informed who is investigating your complaint at the beginning of the process.  

We will aim to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction in the most appropriate and timely manner.

We handle complaints as dissatisfactions or complaints. How your complaint will be handled will be discussed and agreed with you at the beginning of the process.

At the end of the handling of your complaint you will be updated with the actions that have been carried out to resolve the issues you have raised and the outcome(s) that have been reached.

Once you have been updated if you are not satisfied with how your complaint has been handled and or the outcome you can request that it be recorded and or a review.

Reviews are primarily carried out by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner or occasionally the IOPC, both are independent of the police.

You will be provided with all the information you will need to make that decision at the conclusion of your complaint.

Whether the police or the IOPC is handling your complaint, you will be informed about:

  • How your complaint will be handled,
  • What co-operation is required from you,
  • How a decision will be reached,
  • Action which may be taken at the conclusion of handling your complaint,
  • How you can apply for a review if you are not satisfied with the handling or outcome of your complaint.

The complaint handler will also agree with you how often and by what method you would like to be kept informed.

At the end of handling your complaint, we will inform you of the outcome(s) and your right to a review if you are not satisfied with the handling or outcome(s).

If your complaint has been recorded you can request that the handling of your complaint and or the outcome(s) are reviewed, this request can only be made at the conclusion of your complaint when you have been formally updated as to the outcome.

If your complaint was initially dealt with as a dissatisfaction you have the right to request it is recorded at any time, you can do this by contacting the Professional Standards Department of Gwent Police and requesting that the matters you have raised are now recorded as a complaint. 

Once it is recorded you will have the right to request a review at the conclusion of your complaint in relation to its handling or the outcome(s).

Reviews are primarily carried out by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and occasionally the IOPC, they are both independent of the police.

You will be made aware of this process at the conclusion of your complaint handling in relation to recording and requesting a review.

You can request a review by the Officer of the Police and Crime Commissioner via email [email protected] or by writing to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Police Headquarters, Croesyceiliog, Cwmbran, NP44 2XJ.

If the review for your complaint will be carried out by the IOPC this can be requested by email [email protected] or via phone 0300 020 0096.

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

The IOPC can be contacted by email, phone or in writing to the following address:

IOPC details: PO Box 473, Sale, M33 0BW.

Tel: 0300 020 0096
Email: [email protected]
Website: IOPC

The IOPC does not have the power to record complaints – this is done by the relevant police force or police authority. In the majority of cases, complaints are considered and recorded by the Professional Standards Department (PSD) of the force concerned.

This means that if you make your complaint via the IOPC, they must forward the complaint to the relevant police force or police authority so that a recording decision can be made.  

There are a number of leaflets available which are designed to inform you about the work of the IOPC. 

The IOPC can support you through the complaints process.