Making a complaint

If you believe that a police officer has behaved incorrectly or unfairly, then you have the right to make a complaint.

How do I make a complaint?

You can attend any police station where you will be seen by a supervisory officer on duty; probably a Sergeant or Inspector.

You can write to the Police Complaints Commissioner, the Chief Constable or the Professional Standards Department at:

Police Headquarters,
Isle of Man,

You can ask a third party such as an Advocate, your MHK, a relation or an associate to submit a complaint on your behalf, however they will need your written consent to do so.

What should my complaint say?

  • When the incident you have cause to complain about happened.
  • The exact nature of your complaint.
  • The identity of the officer(s), if known.
  • Whether there were any witnesses, and details as to how they can be contacted.
  • Proof of any damage or injury caused. 
  • Your expectations and/or your desired outcome.

How will my complaint be recorded and investigated?

Your complaint will be recorded and dealt with in one of the three ways:

Dissatisfied Customer Enquiries

Comparatively minor issues where you are dissatisfied with the level of service, or the manner in which you were dealt with, will be recorded as a ‘Dissatisfied Customer Enquiry’. Complaints of this nature will be dealt with informally by the officer(s) line manager, who will seek to resolved your grievance to your satisfaction.

If you remain unhappy with the outcome of this procedure, your complaint can be registered as a formal complaint.

Formal Complaint Investigations 

If an informal approach is not acceptable to you, or if the complaint raises certain more serious allegations, the Appropriate Authority, (a Senior Officer) will notify the Police Complaints Commissioner of the receipt of your complaint.

The Police Complaints Commissioner is appointed by His Excellency The Lieutenant Governor. They are independent and cannot be a former member of the Isle of Man Constabulary. The Commissioner is responsible for supervising the investigation of complaints, and for any remedial or disciplinary action taken as a result of complaints being upheld.

The Police Complaints Commissioner approves the appointment of the Investigating Officer and it is they who will decide whether or not the complaint is Upheld - found in your favour.

If your complaint is against the Chief Constable or the Deputy Chief Constable, the Police Complaints Commissioner may arrange for the complaint to be investigated, under his or her supervision, by another Constabulary.

Informal Resolution Process

If your complaint is more serious, and has been registered with the Police Complaints Commissioner, but through your choice or due to a lack of evidence, it cannot proceed to a formal complaint investigation it can be dealt with through the Informal Resolution Process.

This process allows your views and those of the officer(s) to be shared and affords the Investigating Officer the opportunity to help you gain clarity.

What will happen next?

You will be kept informed of progress of the investigation by the officer tasked with investigating your complaint.

If your complaint is of a formal nature, you will receive a written report from the Police Complaints Commissioner detailing their findings.

If your complaint is upheld, even in part, the Appropriate Authority will decide whether any police officer should face disciplinary proceedings.

If there is a disciplinary meeting or hearing you will be notified by the Investigating Officer. You may be asked to attend if you are needed as a witness. 

The Attorney General’s Chambers will decide whether any criminal charges will be brought against a police officer or officer(s).

What if I am still not satisfied?

There is no appeals mechanism and the Commissioner has no power to award damages or impose financial penalties, however the making of a complaint does not affect your right to instigate civil proceedings.

How long will it take?

Complaints are dealt with as quickly as possible. The Constabulary will endeavour to complete all investigations within 120 days. However, some can take longer, and ordinarily investigations cannot commence until the conclusion of any related legal proceedings.

Our Guarantee

The Isle of Man Constabulary is committed to providing a quality service. We strive to learn from our mistakes and we constantly implement measures designed to prevent their re-occurrence.

For further information regarding the complaints and discipline process, please contact:

Professional Standards Department
Police Headquarters
Isle of Man

Telephone:  01624 631212