Reviews, Complaints & Compliments

This page outlines information on our reviews, complaints and compliments that the Police and Crime Commissioner receive.

Complaints & Compliments

Making a Complaint

We appreciate that the police complaints process can seem complex and it is important to understand what we can – and what we can’t do, to resolve your concerns. The following information is intended to help guide you through that process to make sure your complaint is directed to the right place, the first time.

A complaint can only be dealt with by the Appropriate Authority who has powers and responsibility specifically conferred by legislation and it’s important to understand that the Durham Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is not permitted to operate outside this framework. The legislation does not allow the PCC to become involved in complaints for which the Chief Constable is the Appropriate Authority, which includes complaints about the Force.

Durham PCC Logo
Durham PCC Logo

To avoid frustration and unnecessary delays in resolving your concerns, the first question to ask is –what is the nature of your complaint?

Eligibility Criteria: In order to make a police complaint, you must be eligible to be a complainant. This is defined by the legislation as someone who has directly witnessed the incident or who is directly affected by it.

Complaints can be raised by other people on their behalf, but only with their written consent.

Therefore, if you are not directly affected or were not present at the incident that you have concerns about, you cannot use the police complaints system to make your concerns known. For example, complaints arising from what you have seen on social media or in the news or heard about from another person.

You can still make your concerns known to Durham Constabulary as part of general feedback.

Information About How To Make A Complaint

Click the below dropdown to reveal further information

Complaints about the Chief Constable

It is important to fully understand the nature of your complaint in order that we can resolve it for you, learn from mistakes and improve our practices.  Please provide us with the following information:

  • What are the specific actions of the Chief Constable that you are unhappy with?
  • When did this happen?
  • How have you been affected?
  • What outcome would you like to see?

A complaint against the Chief Constable cannot be used as a mechanism to escalate an existing complaint about the Force, or to have a previously concluded complaint about the Force reviewed. We will take reasonable and proportionate steps to resolve and where appropriate, investigate your complaint.  When that is concluded, you will be informed of the outcome, along with a clear rationale as to how and why that decision has been reached.  You will also be advised of your Right of Review (formerly known as Appeal) to the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) if appropriate.

The Appropriate Authority for a complaint against the Chief Constable is the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC).

Please put your complaint in writing to:

Chief Executive

Durham Police and Crime Commissioner's Office

Police Headquarters

Aykley Heads

Durham

DH1 5TT

Complaints about Durham Constabulary

It is important to understand that legislation not permit the Police and Crime Commissioner to become involved in complaints for which the Chief Constable is the Appropriate Authority.

This includes expressions of dissatisfaction about policing matters including but not limited to:

  • Service you have received
  • Standard of an investigation
  • Direction and control of resource
  • Concern about Force policies
  • Conduct of officers or staff (excluding the Chief Constable)

Complaints about the Force will be passed to the Appropriate Authority in line with Statutory Guidance from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).   We will of course get in touch to let you know when this happens.

Right of Review (formerly known as Appeal)

At the conclusion of your complaint you have the right to apply for a review of the outcome, should you disagree with the Force’s outcome decision.

The Relevant Review Body will be either the PCC or the IOPC, which will be clarified in your outcome letter.

For more information or to submit your complaint online, please visit the Force website here:

Complaints about the Durham PCC

Please put your complaint in writing to:

Durham Police and Crime Panel

Durham County Council

County Hall

Durham Constabulary

DH1 5UL

Complaints about Durham Police and Crime Commissioner's Staff

It is important to fully understand the nature of your complaint in order that we can resolve it for you, learn from mistakes and improve our practices.  Please provide us with the following information:

  • What were the circumstances?
  • Who was involved?
  • When did this occur?
  • How have you been affected?
  • What outcome would you like to see?

Please put your complaint in writing to:

Chief Executive

Durham Police and Crime Commissioner' Office

Police Headquarters

Aykley Heads

Durham

DH1 5TT

If your complaint is about the Chief Executive, please put your complaint in writing to:

The Durham Police and Crime Commissioner at the above address.

Holding the Chief Constable to account

The PCC has a statutory responsibility to hold the Chief Constable to account for the performance of the complaints system locally, and for ensuring there are processes in place to scrutinise, support and challenge the overall performance of the Force, to monitor complaints and to hold the Chief Constable to account for the performance of officers and staff.

The police complaints system has recently been the subject of significant reform which sets out principles of accessibility, reasonable and proportionate handling and learning and improvement; all vital factors in ensuring both public confidence and the ongoing development of a robust, effective & efficient complaints system.

Complaints against the Chief Constable - The PCC is the Appropriate Authority to deal with complaints about the Chief Constable only, as outlined above.

Durham Police Crest
Durham PCC Logo

Relevant Review Body for Review of Complaint Outcomes (Also know as Appeals).

At the conclusion of a complaint against Durham Constabulary for which the Chief Constable is Appropriate Authority, you have the right to apply for a Review of the outcome, should you disagree with the Force’s outcome decision.

The Relevant Review Body (RRB) will be either the PCC or the IOPC, depending on the circumstances of your original complaint. The RRB will be clarified in your outcome letter.

As a result of changes made to the police complaints system by the Policing and Crime Act 2017, Police & Crime Commissioners became responsible for carrying out Reviews (Appeals) of most complaints recorded since 1 February 2020 and handled by their police forces under Schedule 3 of the Police Reform Act 2002.

The PCC has a statutory responsibility to hold the Chief Constable to account for the performance of the complaints system locally, and for ensuring there are processes in place to scrutinise, support and challenge the overall performance of the Force, to monitor complaints and to hold the Chief Constable to account for the performance of officers and staff.

The police complaints system has recently been the subject of significant reform which sets out principles of accessibility, reasonable and proportionate handling and learning and improvement; all vital factors in ensuring both public confidence and the ongoing development of a robust, effective & efficient complaints system.

Complaints against the Chief Constable - The PCC is the Appropriate Authority to deal with complaints about the Chief Constable only, as outlined above.

If your complaint to Durham Constabulary qualifies for an OPCC review the following information must be sent to via email or post at the following:

Email: general.enquiriespcvc@durham.pnn.police.uk

Durham Police and Crime Commissioner's Office, Police Headquarters, Aykley Heads, Durham, DH1 5TT.

Please include:

  • The details of the complaint
  • The date on which the complaint was made
  • The name of the force whose the decision is the subject of the application and the date on which the complainant was provided with the outcome
  • The details about their right of review at the conclusion of the investigation or other handling of their complaint
  • Please explain would you would like to happen

Alternatively, please download and complete the review form

Only the complainant or someone acting on their behalf can make an application for a review.

What You Can Expect From Us

Within seven working days of receiving the application for a review, we will acknowledge your correspondence and inform you when you can expect to hear about the review and what will happen next.

You will also be given a point of contact for any queries. Decisions will be reached as soon as practicable, however, the OPCC will provide an update every 28 days.

The role of the OPCC will be to offer the opportunity to consider whether the complaint outcome is reasonable and proportionate and, if not, to put things right.

Complaints

Durham Constabulary officers and staff work hard to serve the communities of Durham and Darlington and often go above and beyond what is expected of them.

If you wish to compliment a member of staff or team who has assisted you, please email: 
General.EnquiriesPCVC@durham.pnn.police.uk

Your contact with our office will be acknowledged and feedback will be forwarded on to the Chief Constable.

Other Useful Contacts

Independent Office for Police ConductDurham Constabulary

To date, there have been ten complaints or conduct matters brought to the attention of the Police and Crime Panel, during the following financial years:

2020-21: 4
2019-20: 0
2018-19: 3
2017-18: 0
2016-17: 2
2015-16: 1
2014-15: 0
2013-14: 0
2012-13: 0