When a police complaint is made, it is possible to appeal to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (formerly known as the IPCC) for a review of the response. This can take place where it appears the complaint has not been adequately investigated by the police force concerned.
Police complaints have to be made within 12 months of the incident, or the police may exercise their discretion to avoid having to deal with the complaint. If a complaint is to be made outside of those time limits, a good reason for the delay has to be provided.
The IOPC can investigate a range of complaints about police misconduct. If the response from the IOPC still appears to be unsatisfactory, it may be possible to seek Judicial Review of the decision by either the police force or IOPC .
Judicial Review is usually applied for within three months of a decision by the police or IOPC , unless there is a good reason for the delay.
The police can seek Judicial Review of IOPC decisions – and the IOPC can seek Judicial Review of police force decisions.
The process of Judicial Review involves a court ruling on whether a decision has been made lawfully – and within existing laws, including the Human Rights Act and Equality Act. The decision by the police or IOPC also has to be reasonable and fair.
If the court rules that the decision was made unlawfully, it may ‘quash’ the decision and order the police or IOPC to reconsider the matter, including IOPC decisions not to take disciplinary action against police officers.
Duncan Lewis Action Against Public Authorities Solicitors have a successful track record in advising on Judicial Review and police or prison law. Duncan Lewis is also one of the UK’s leading criminal defence solicitors, so our solicitors are well placed to advise on matters involving police procedures, actions against the police and applying for Judicial Review of police and IOPC decisions.
Duncan Lewis may be able to secure legal aid, or to offer a no win no fee arrangement for advising on police complaints and claims – with competitively priced rates for privately funding a claim or After the Event (ATE) insurance, if either legal aid is unavailable or where a no win no fee basis is not possible.
For expert legal advice on Actions Against the Police and Judicial Review of Police and IOPC Decisions, call Duncan Lewis Action Against Public Authorities Solicitors in confidence on 0333 772 0409.