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Complaints process

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.

Our office has a duty in relation to the handling of complaints, that are categorised under three different models. We operate Model One, meaning 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.

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.

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

Your Commissioner also monitors correspondence received by our office to support them in improving the service you receive and complaints that are received by our office, Surrey Police and the IOPC. More information can be found on our Complaints Data page.

Complaints received by the Police and Crime Commissioner about the service provided by Surrey Police will normally be responded with a request for permission to forward them to Force to respond in more detail. The Police and Crime Commissioner can only review cases that have been through the police complaints system first.

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.

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.

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.

Making a complaint against the Chief Constable

Please note that we receive a large number of complaints about the Chief Constable that do not relate to their direct conduct, but reference actions that have been delegated or given to other members of staff to carry out.

Under the Police Reform Act 2002, this office is only the appropriate authority for dealing with complaints that are about the personal conduct of the Chief Constable. The Act does not permit us to deal with complaints made about Surrey Police or the actions of others as these can only be dealt with by the Force’s Professional Standards Department (PSD), in line with police complaint’s legislation.

As the Chief Constable represents Surrey Police, we understand that these complaints are often made in good faith. However, it is important to understand that the Chief Constable is not usually involved in front-line policing and should not be included in complaints that are made about the police force more generally.

When a complaint about the Chief Constable is made, we will establish whether the matter is an expression of dissatisfaction that directly involves the Chief Constable and ensure that the complainant is eligible to complain.

It is important to note, that the Chief Constable delegates responsibilities under Part 2 to the Police Reform Act. so if a complaint is about the decisions of the Force in general, or about a delegated power rather than the personal conduct of the Chief Constable, the Act requires that these matters be directed to PSD.

Please use the form below to make a complaint against the Chief Constable:

Misconduct Hearings and Police Appeal Tribunals

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. 

A Gross Misconduct hearing takes place when the allegation relates to misconduct that is so serious it could result in dismissal of the police officer.

Gross Misconduct Hearings are held in public, unless a specific exception is made by a the Chair of the hearing.

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

Police officers can appeal the findings of misconduct hearings. Police Appeals Tribunals (PATs) hear appeals brought by police officers or special constables:

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.

Learn more about the review process or use our contact page to request a Complaint Review now.

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.

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

Complaints against the Police and Crime Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner are received by our Chief Executive and forwarded to the Surrey Police and Crime Panel for informal resolution.

To make a complaint against the Commissioner or a member of the Commissioner’s staff, use our Contact Us page or call us on 01483 630200. You can also write to us using the address above. If a complaint relates to a member of staff, it will initially be handled by that staff member’s line manager.

Complaints we’ve received

We monitor correspondence received by our office to support the Commissioner in improving the service you receive.

We also publish information on complaints processed by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Our Data Hub includes more information about contact with our office, complaints against Surrey Police and the response that is provided by our Office and the Force.


The effective management of complaints by Surrey Police is vital to improving policing services in Surrey.

Under the Specified Information (Amendment) Order 2021 we are required to publish a self-assessment of our performance in overseeing the management of complaints by Surrey Police. 

Read our Self-Assessment here.


If you require any adjustments to support you to make a review application or a complaint, please let us know by using our Contact Us page or by calling us on 01483 630200. You can also write to us using the address above.

See our Accessibility Statement for more information about the steps we’ve taken to make our information and processes accessible.