If you're unhappy with the outcome or the way your case was handled, you may be able to apply for either:

  • an appeal, or
  • a review
Whether your application is treated as an appeal or a review depends on the date your complaint was made. This is because from 1 February 2020, new laws took effect replacing the former right of appeal with a new right of review.

If your complaint was made before 1 February 2020

You may have a right of appeal. You'll be told about your right of appeal and how to make an appeal in your outcome letter, which we'll send you after we've handled your complaint. Find out more about making an appeal. 

If your complaint was made on or after 1 February 2020

You can apply for a right of review if you're unhappy about the outcome of your complaint or the way it was handled.

Reviews are carried out either by your local Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), or the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) in serious cases. This means we'll need to share the information we gathered as part of the complaint resolution process with the reviewing body.

You'll be told about your right to review and which body you need to apply to in your outcome letter, which we'll send you after we've handled your complaint.

You need to apply within 28 days or your application won't be accepted, unless there are exceptional circumstances for the delay.

There may be occasions where you don't have a right of review, for instance, if you weren't directly impacted by the incident you're complaining about. This will depend on the circumstances of each complaint. This will be explained to you in your outcome letter.

If you need more advice

If you're not sure what to do next or you need more information, contact the relevant PCC, the IOPC or an organisation such as your local Citizens Advice Bureau. You can also talk to a legal adviser.