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How to make a complaint

There may be time when you feel dissatisfied or disappointed with the service you have received from us.  We take complaints and concerns seriously.  We commit to listening to you so that we can improve our service for the future.

Easy read

View Easy Read documents on the complaints process.

Making a complaint against an officer or member of staff

If you think that a police officer or member of police staff has behaved incorrectly or unfairly, you have the right to make a complaint.

You should direct complaints about the Chief Constable to the Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner.

The Professional Standards Department deals with complaints about all other officers and staff locally in the area in which the individual works. Serious complaints may be referred to the the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC).

Making a complaint against the organisation

If you have concerns which relate to the organisation as a whole, you can make a complaint.  For example you may wish to raise a complaint on the deployment of staff, financial matters or matters of policy and procedure. These are often referred to as “Direction and Control” complaints.

These type of complaints are generally dealt with at a local level by a member of the relevant division or department.  They will contact you to discuss the matter as soon as possible.

Who can make a complaint?

The following people can make a complaint:

  • Any member of the public who alleges that police misconduct was directed at them.
  • Any member of the public who alleges that they have been adversely affected by police misconduct, even if it was not directed at them.
  • Any member of the public who claims that they were witness to misconduct by the police.  This would not include a person who sees an incident on the news.
  • A person acting on behalf of someone who falls within any of the three categories above who has written permission by the complainant.

How to make a complaint


Use our online complaints form to make a complaint.

In writing

In the case of a complaint against the Chief Constable write to:

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner
Lincolnshire Police Headquarters
Deepdale Lane

In the case of a complaint about the service you have received from Lincolnshire Police write to:

Professional Standards Department
Lincolnshire Police Headquarters
PO Box 999

In person

Visit any local police station where a senior officer on duty will talk with you.  Find your local police station.

Through other agencies

Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC)
Independent Office for Police Conduct
PO Box 473
M33 0BW 
Phone: 0300 020 0096
Email: enquiries@policeconduct.gov.uk
Website: policeconduct.gov.uk

Citizens Advice Bureau

Visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau, who can advise whether you have grounds for a complaint.


You can also contact a solicitor or member of parliament or ask someone else to put forward your complaint.  This might be a friend or neighbour, as long as they have a letter from you authorising them to do so.

Information to include in a complaint

Please include as much detail as possible in your complaint.  It should include:

  • What happened.
  • What was done or said.
  • Whether there were any witnesses and their contact details.
  • What proof exists of any damage or injuries.  For example were photographs taken or medical advice sought?
  • Your contact details

What happens to your complaint?

We will acknowledge your complaint and will contact you to explain how we will handle it.  We will discuss and agree with you what we will do and how long it might take.

Most complaints are resolved at a local level, through a process called local resolution.  This might be more appropriate than a full investigation, for example for allegations of rudeness.  

In some cases it may be appropriate to give an apology, or a full explanation on why certain actions were or were not taken.  We will investigate all other complaints in the most appropriate manner.  In serious cases, the IOPC may conduct an independent investigation.

Local resolution

Local resolution is a quick and flexible way of dealing with a complaint.  It provides the opportunity to explain your concerns and receive an adequate response. 

We will ask you to give your consent to the use of local resolution.   We will then agree an action plan with you aimed at resolving your complaint quickly. Regulations do allow us to use local resolution without your consent in exceptional circumstances.  But we recognise that it is preferable for all concerned to agree an outcome together. 

How we will keep you informed during an investigation

Whoever investigates your complaint, the investigator will inform you:

  • How we will investigate your complaint.
  • What co-operation they need from you.
  • How we will reach a decision.
  • What action we will take at the conclusion of an investigation.

The investigator will also agree with you how often and by which method we will keep you informed.

What happens at the end of investigation?

At the end of the investigation, the Investigator will inform you of the conclusions.  Possible outcomes could include:

  • Not enough evidence to uphold your complaint.  This means that there is insufficient evidence to prove or disprove the allegation(s) made. This does not mean that we do not believe you.
  • We may decide to improve or amend our procedures in response to a complaint.
  • We may take formal disciplinary or management action against a member of staff.
  • We may refer your case to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on criminal prosecution.

Right to appeal

We will inform you of the right of appeal available and who you should direct this to.

You may have a right of appeal to the IOPC if:

  • Your complaint has not been recorded by us.
  • 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 will have a right of appeal to the Deputy Chief Constable if:

  • You believe that local resolution procedures were not carried out properly.
  • You disagree with the action we propose to take as a result of the investigation.
  • You were not provided with adequate information about the findings of the investigation.
  • You are not satisfied with the outcome of the police investigation.

You can find our appeal forms at the bottom of this page.  Please return them to the address below.

Learning lessons

In all our interactions with the public we commit to providing the best service. We identify lessons complaints or dissatisfaction matters and feed them back into the organisation to influence future policies and service delivery. If you have any general comments to make about the service please tell us by contacting us on any of the above methods

Getting it right? Tell us about it!

We aim to provide a high standard of service in all that we do and we value any feedback from our communities.

We are particularly interested to hear about occasions where we have provided an excellent service.  This is so we can share with our staff and use as examples of good practice.

If you have been impressed with the service you have received from Lincolnshire Police please tell us about it.

Write to:

Professional Standards Department
Lincolnshire Police Headquarters
PO Box 999

Or you can complete our Say Thank You form.


British Sign Language: Important information about making a complaint

This video has been produced by the Independent Police Complaints Commission and explains in BSL how you can make a complaint.

Related Documents & Further Reading

20 Mar 19 12:42 PM

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