Complaints process

Complaints process2022-09-14T19:57:36+01:00

This page contains information on the process for complaints that relate to Surrey Police or our office, and the role of the Commissioner’s Office in monitoring, handling and reviewing complaints about policing.

Every local policing body has a duty in relation to the handling of complaints, that are categorised under three different models. The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner in Surrey operates Model One. This means your Commissioner:

  • As part of the wider scrutiny of Surrey Police performance, monitors complaints being received about the police force and how they are dealt with including outcomes and timelines;
  • Employs a Complaint Review Manager who can provide an independent review of the outcome of a complaint processed by Surrey Police, when requested by the complainant within 28 days. More information on the Complaint Review Process is detailed below.

As a result of the Commissioner’s Office’s role in reviewing complaint outcomes provided by Surrey Police, your Commissioner is not normally involved in the recording or investigating of new complaints against the Force as these as any such complaints are managed by the Professional Standards Department (PSD) of Surrey Police. You can contact PSD here.

Making a complaint about policing in Surrey

Surrey Police officers and staff aim to provide a high standard of service to the communities of Surrey, and welcome feedback from the public to help shape their service. However, we know there may be occasions when you feel dissatisfied with the service you have received and wish to make a complaint.

Leave feedback or make a formal complaint about Surrey Police here.

Surrey Police Professional Standards Department (PSD) receive all reports of complaint and dissatisfaction about police officers, police staff or Surrey Police generally and will provide a written response to your concerns. You can also contact them by calling 101 and asking for ‘PSD’.

Complaints can also be made to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), however these will automatically be passed to Surrey Police or the Police and Crime Commissioner (in the case of a complaint against the Chief Constable) for the initial stages of the process to be completed, unless there are exceptional circumstances that justify not passing it on.

The Police and Crime Commissioner is not involved in this first stage of complaints. You can see more information lower down this page about requesting an independent review of your complaint outcome from our office, that can be carried out once you receive a response from Surrey Police.

Misconduct Hearings

A Misconduct Hearing takes place when an investigation is carried out into any officer following an allegation of behaviour that falls below the standard expected of Surrey Police.  Misconduct and Gross Misconduct Hearings are held in public, unless a specific exception is made by a the Chair of the hearing.

Legally Qualified Chairs and Independent Panel Members are legally qualified individuals independent of Surrey Police, who are selected by the Commissioner’s Office to ensure that misconduct hearings are fair and transparent. 

Read how we select, recruit and manage Legally Qualified Chairs here.

Complaints we’ve received

We monitor correspondence received by our office to support the Commissioner in improving the service you receive. In 2021/22, we received 2,962 messages about policing in Surrey, including:

  • 815 complaints or messages that expressed dissatisfaction with Surrey Police
  • 133 requests for Independent Complaint Reviews; 109 of these requests were valid and responded to by the Independent Complaint Review Manager
  • Three complaints against the Police and Crime Commissioner referred to the Surrey Police and Crime Panel. Individual complaints received from 37 people were collated as one complaint. You can see the outcome to these complaints provided by the Panel here.

Your Commissioner also publishes information on complaints processed by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). This information can be found on our ‘Complaints Data’ page.

The role of the Police and Crime Commissioner

The Police and Crime Commissioner has statutory responsibility for:

  • the local oversight of complaint handling by Surrey Police;
  • acting as an independent Review Body for some complaints that have been made through the formal complaints system of Surrey Police;
  • dealing with complaints made against the Chief Constable, a role known as the Appropriate Authority.

Any complaints received by the Police and Crime Commissioner about the service provided by Surrey Police will be forwarded to the Force to respond. The Police and Crime Commissioner can only review cases that have been through the police complaints system first.

Your right to a review of the outcome of your complaint to Surrey Police

If you have already submitted a complaint to Surrey Police’s complaints system and remain dissatisfied after you have received a formal outcome of your complaint from the Force, you can make a request to your Commissioner’s Office to review it.  This is then handled by our Complaint Review Manager, who is employed by the Office to independently review the outcome of your complaint. 

In order to request a Complaint Review, you will need to submit a Review Request Form to the our office within 28 calendar days from the day you received an outcome letter from Surrey Police. You can complete a Review Request Form (will open in your ‘downloads’ folder) and e-mail to surreypcc@surrey.police.uk or send it to: 

Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner for Surrey
PO Box 412
Guildford
Surrey GU3 1YJ

Our Complaints Review Manager will then consider whether the outcome of your complaint was reasonable and proportionate, and identify any learning or recommendations that are relevant for Surrey Police.

This is not merely a quality check of what happened before. You will be kept informed of progress and a decision will be reached within three weeks. If a delay is expected, the Complaints Review Manager will get in touch to let you know and when to expect an update.

Making a complaint against the Chief Constable

The Police and Crime Commissioner is responsible for dealing with complaints directly relating to the actions, decisions or conduct of the Chief Constable.

If you wish to make a complaint against the Chief Constable’s personal involvement in a matter, please contact the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner surreypcc@surrey.pnn.police.uk or on 01483 630200 or post it to the above address.   Your complaint will be passed to the Chief Executive of the OPCC.

Making a complaint against the Police and Crime Commissioner or member of staff.

Complaints against the Police and Crime Commissioner are handled by the Surrey Police and Crime Panel. Find out more about contacting the Panel or see more information on complaints made against your Commissioner here.

To make a complaint against a member of the Commissioner’s staff, please contact usYour complaint will be handled by the staff member’s line manager, or by the Chief Executive.

Accessibility

If you require any adjustments to support you to make a review application or a complaint, please let us know. You can call us on 01483 630200.

Complaints Policy

You can view the complaints policies of the OPCC below:

View the Complaints Policy HERE.

View the Complaints Procedure (Annex A) HERE.

View the Persistent Complainants Policy (Annex B) HERE.