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There are many ways that you can make a complaint about a stop and search encounter that was less than satisfactory. Unfortunately, we are unable to make complaints on your behalf. We are, however, interested to know in the results of your complaints and are happy to assist in any other way that we can.
Here you will find a comprehensive guide to the complaints processes available to you. 

REMEMBER: Making complaints about unsatisfactory encounters with the police plays a vital role in the overall Stop and Search process. If no complaints are made then it indicates that the system is working. If you don’t agree that it is, then it is important that you take the time to make a complaint when necessary.

Making a complaint online

Going online to make a complaint is easy and can save you time. Not only that but there is the added bonus of complaining in an environment where you feel comfortable, whether that be your home or local internet cafe.

You are required to fill out the online questionnaire in as much detail as possible and submit the form.

The Met does not accept anonymous complaints, so you will have to provide your full contact details if you want to go ahead with your complaint.

What happens next depends on the severity of your complaint as it can be dealt with in-house i.e. the station or be taken up by the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) if the matter is more severe.

To view the online complaints form Click here

Making a complaint in person

It is possible to make a complaint about an officer at any police station so long as you have the necessary information i.e. the badge number. Police stations can be very busy places and are often at their busiest between lunchtime and early evening we advice that you consider making your complaint outside of this period.

What if I am underage ?

If you are underage you can make a complaint by yourself but the police do prefer you to have an appropriately aged adult with you. This adult could be a relative or social worker for example.

Do I have to give my name ?

Complaints can not be made anonymously. If you do not wish to give your name then what you say will not be recorded as a complaint but may be used as “intelligence”.

If an officer gets 10 anonymous complaints made against them, for example, then this may indicate to the officer’s superiors that there is a potential issue with that officer that may need to be addressed. Police officers are sometimes subjected to a ‘mystery shopper’ type scenario as part of their on-going assessment. ‘Intelligence’ gathered from anonymous complaints can lead to this type of assessment being conducted on an officer.

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The Met website
Lewisham Police Station

43 Lewisham High Street
Lewisham, London
SE13 5JZ
020 8297 1212

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Making a complaint in writing

If you have a complaint about an officer it makes sense to put that complaint in writing anyway (that’s just good practice). You should address the letter to the station where the officer works. The letter should be headed “Formal Complaint” and be addressed to the “Deputy Chief Constable”.

The Deputy Chief Constable should then handle the case locally and a resolution should come of this action where you as the complainant are satisfied.

What if I am not satisfied ?

Only you can determine whether you are satisfied with the outcome of a complaint or not. There are very few cases where the complaint made by a citizen resulted in an officer losing their job. If you do feel that your case has not been dealt with properly there are other avenues you can pursue.

You can either write a letter to the Department of Professional Standards:

22nd Floor
Empress State Building
Lillie Road

Or you can write to the Independent Police Complaints Commission:

P.O Box 473
M33 0BW

Both these organisations exist as external bodies who will investigate complaints made about the police for citizens. For more information about these organisations please go their websites.