Avon and Somerset Police are committed to reducing crime and disorder and making our communities feel safer. As you will appreciate,
and we hope take into account, we often have to carry out our work under difficult conditions.
While we make every effort to get it right, every time, there may be occasions when you are dissatisfied with the service you have received.
When that happens we want you to tell us, the Professional Standards Department, so that we can look into what happened.
What you have told us will be recorded and either we shall look into it ourselves, or your local district will do so at our request and
report back to us. The Professional Standards Department has overall responsibility for recording and handling complaints about individual officers
or members of staff. We are completely separate from those who are complained about and the district or department they work in.
We would also like you to tell us when we did it right so that we can learn from that too. Feedback – both positive and negative –
of how we did helps us to identity the things we do well and any areas that we may need to improve.
Information about the role and work of our department
What sorts of thing might you want to contact us about?
How to make compliments, comments or complaints to Avon and Somerset Constabulary
At your local Police station or any other Police station within Avon and Somerset Constabulary. A police officer or a member of police staff will speak to you and explain your options. To find your nearest or most convenient Police station, please follow this link
Write to the following address: Professional Standards Department, Avon and Somerset Constabulary, PO Box 37, Valley Road, Portishead, BS20 8QJ.
You can use a form from this website using one of the links we gave you earlier. Click on the link that you think best suits the reason you want to contact us.
You can telephone 101 and ask to be put through to the Area Supervisor, or line manager of the person you wish to speak about. Office hours: 8.am – 5 pm.
Through a third party
A Solicitor, your MP, a Citizens Advice Bureau or a support agency such as Support Against Racist incidents (SARI)
Via the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC)
Complaints about the conduct of people serving with the police can be sent to the IPCC, but the IPCC does not have the power to record complaints. If you complain to the IPCC it must, by law, forward the complaint back to the force involved for consideration. In order to have your complaint dealt with as quickly as possible the IPCC advises that you complain to your local force using one of the methods above.
Appealing against the way the police handled your complaint
When a complaint has been dealt with we will contact you and advise you of the result of your complaint.
If you wish to discuss any aspect of your complaint please contact us and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
If you wish to lodge a formal appeal about how your complaint was handled we will have advised you if the IPCC or the Chief Constable will be responsible for the appeal.
If you have been told your appeal is to the Chief Constable then you can lodge your formal appeal here. Appeal to Chief Constable
If you have been advised that your appeal should go to the IPCC then you should submit it through the IPCC web site
Any formal appeal must be received within 28 days of notification of the result of the complaint. If you contact us we will be happy to try and resolve any issues but please ensure that any formal appeal is made in time.
The role of the Independent Police Complaints Commission
As well as overseeing the whole Police complaints process and dealing with appeals, the IPCC investigates the most serious complaints
and allegations of misconduct against the police in England and Wales. These complaints are referred to the IPCC by police forces. The IPCC
may decide to investigate an incident using its own investigators (referred to as an independent investigation). Alternatively, it can manage
or supervise a police investigation into the matter. The IPCC will only conduct independent investigations into incidents that cause the
greatest level of public concern – for example, deaths in or following police custody. For more information visit:
Is there anything to make it easier for me to make a complaint if I belong to a special group?
People of any age are entitled to complain about the Police. There is no requirement for an adult to be present although they
are welcome to accompany the complainant.
The IPCC produce an easy to read leaflet explaining the process. This is available from their website
Deaf, deafened or hard of hearing
The IPCC provide information in a BSL video on their website:
Contact with Avon and Somerset constabulary can be made on a Textphone by dialing 18000 followed by 101. An operator will contact
our professional Standards Department on your behalf. We have a number of Police link Officers for the Deaf.
All of our premises have easy access facilities for those who find moving around difficult. Please telephone ahead if you would like to
be met on arrival or let us know if you need us to visit you to make your complaint.
IPCC provides explanation leaflets on their website in a number of languages:
Avon and Somerset Constabulary have access to translation facilities for most languages. These can be arranged by the Professional
Standards department by appointment. Please ask an English-speaking friend to make the first contact or write to us.