IOPC police complaints

IOPC complaints

We all rely on the police to uphold the law, defend our rights and keep us safe. And thankfully, this is the case the vast majority of the time. Most police officers do their jobs diligently and help protect the communities they serve.

Unfortunately, there are circumstances in which the behaviour of the police doesn’t live up to expectations. This can take many forms, from wrongful arrest to excessive force or unlawful stop and search. In every case, the consequences can be severe, leading to physical injuries, financial losses and ongoing anxiety.

That’s why it’s essential to know that, if you experience mistreatment by the police, there are steps you can take to seek redress. That includes complaining to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), who have a responsibility for overseeing investigations of police misconduct.

Read on below to find out how you can make an IOPC police complaint, as well as the steps you can take to seek compensation if you’ve been a victim of police misconduct.

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Get in contact by using one of our contact forms throughout the site.

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We will arrange a free consultation with you to discuss your claim.

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If you have a valid claim, we will accept your case on a No Win No Fee basis.

Step 4

HNK Solicitors obtain £10,900 for a Claimant following the unlawful retention of their data by Police

Read about how HNK Solicitors successfully obtained £10,900 for a claimant after their data was unlawfully retained by police.

What is the IOPC?

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is a public body that oversees the police complaints process in England and Wales. It was previously known as the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) until 2018. The IOPC is responsible for ensuring that complaints about the police are dealt with in an appropriate way.

Most complaints about the police are initially dealt with directly by the police force responsible, with the IOPC providing guidelines to ensure this is done in a fair and transparent way. However, in more serious cases, the police force is required to refer the complaint to the IOPC. This includes if the incident involved a significant injury or if there are allegations of serious corruption.

The IOPC can also step in if a victim of police misconduct is dissatisfied with the outcome of an internal investigation. You can ask for the IOPC to review or consider an appeal against the decision of the police force responsible.

What can I complain to the IOPC about?

The IOPC typically deals with the most serious complaints about police behaviour. This includes:

  • Police assault or excessive force that leads to serious injury or death
  • Abuse of power (e.g., an officer using their position to intimidate or harass someone or for personal gain)
  • Serious corruption, such as bribery or accepting illegal payments

While you can submit a complaint to the IOPC about any form of police misconduct, your complaint will initially be passed on to the police force responsible. The IOPC has a handy online form you can use for submitting a complaint, which will help you ensure you include all the necessary detail.

You can also appeal to the IOPC if you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint to the relevant police force. This includes if you disagree with their decision or feel that the investigation of your complaint was not carried out appropriately.

How to make an IOPC police complaint

As mentioned above, if you complain directly to the IOPC about police misconduct, this will first be forwarded on to the police force responsible. For a more in-depth look at how to complain directly to the force themselves, read our blog post on how to make a police complaint.

If your complaint is related to a serious matter, the force themselves will then be required to involve the IOPC in the investigation. Otherwise, you will have to wait for the force to conduct its investigation. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome or become concerned that the complaint is not being dealt with properly, you can request a review or appeal through the IOPC website.

It can be helpful at this stage to seek the advice of a solicitor with experience in police misconduct cases. They can advise you on the best steps to take in order to see the outcome you’re hoping for – particularly if you are hoping to secure compensation.

Can I receive compensation for an IOPC police complaint?

If you have suffered damages as a result of police misconduct, you may understandably be looking to secure compensation. There are a range of benefits to seeking compensation for police misconduct, including helping to offset any financial losses and cover any medical expenses you may have incurred.

However, no matter the outcome of your IOPC police complaint, you will not receive any compensation. While the IOPC’s investigation may result in the force responsible apologising or the officer(s) in question being subject to disciplinary measures, but they do not have the ability to award compensation under any circumstances.

However, that does not mean you cannot seek compensation following an experience of police misconduct. Further, having a positive outcome from your IOPC police complaint can be helpful to secure compensation.

Pursuing a civil action against the police

In order to secure compensation following an experience of police misconduct, you will need to take the police force responsible to court. This is called a civil action against the police.

If you have experienced damages as a result of police misconduct – including physical injury and financial losses– pursuing a civil action against the police can be an extremely important step to recovery. If you are able to secure compensation, this can help cover any medical expenses and offset any lost income if you had to take time away from work. It will also serve as an acknowledgment of the suffering that you have experienced.

To pursue a civil action against the police, you will need the support of an experienced solicitor. They will be able to collect the necessary evidence on your behalf, as well as using their legal knowledge to make the most compelling case.

HNK Solicitors can support your IOPC police complaint

Whether you are intending to complain to the IOPC about police misconduct or are hoping to secure compensation, your best option is to seek the advice of a knowledgeable solicitor. They will be able to manage the IOPC police complaints process, as well as advising you on whether you could be entitled to compensation.

Here at HNK Solicitors, we have helped many clients to make successful police complaints and secure compensation through civil actions against the police. Visit our case studies page to learn more about how we’ve helped victims of police misconduct to get the outcome they deserve.

If you have been a victim of police misconduct and are unsure about your next step, get in touch with HNK Solicitors today for a free consultation. We can talk through your options and provide advice and support on the next steps. If we do think you are owed compensation, we can offer to support your civil action against the police on a no-win, no-fee basis.

To arrange your consultation, call us on 0151 668 0809, or email us at

Free Consultation

Contact us today to arrange a free no-obligation discussion about your IOPC police complaint.


We can accept instruction on a no-win, no-fee basis, so it won’t cost you a penny upfront to start your IOPC police complaint.

Get The Outcome You Desire

Our expert lawyers will support you in making an IOPC complaint helping you to get the outcome you desire.


If you are asking the IOPC to review the outcome of your complaint to the relevant force, this can take a year or more, due to the high volume of requests the IOPC currently receives. We understand that this is a long time to wait, and with this in mind you may wish to consider other options, including pursuing a civil action against the police.

Unfortunately, the IOPC does not accept appeals against its decisions. However, you still have other options available to you if you are not satisfied with the IOPC’s decision, including pursuing a civil action against the police.

You do not need a solicitor to make a complaint to the IOPC. However, the advice and support of a solicitor can improve your likelihood of a successful outcome, as well as making the entire process smoother and simpler.

If you have experienced police misconduct, you have 12 months to make a complaint to the relevant force. While you are still able to complain after this time, you will need to explain why you did not complain sooner. Generally speaking, it is best to lodge your complaint as soon as possible, as this makes it easier to gather the necessary evidence, including witness statements and CCTV footage. If you would like to make an appeal to the IOPC, you have 28 days following the outcome of your police complaint. This is measured from the day you received the letter informing you of the outcome.

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Jay DuckworthJay Duckworth
20:34 08 Jul 24
Michael from HNK Solicitors provided an excellent, straightforward, and professional service, with the outcome being very positive. Would recommend.
Gemini LoveGemini Love
12:44 02 Jul 24
I have had really good communication from start to finish. I would highly recommend them
10:09 24 Jun 24
Don't' waste your time with this outfit!
Will RichardsWill Richards
20:51 13 Jun 24
I received clear information and updates on the case, though I was disappointed after being advised I could expect a higher level of compensation than I actually received.Nonetheless, I was happy with the friendly and helpful communication I enjoyed, and the work done on my behalf.
15:16 12 Jun 24
Phoned them and spoke for 3 hours, they have a policy of taking one crime on its own, so if the crime happens over a few days then they take each day as a separate case!!!!..... so if the evidence for any of these days is linked, they will not count it as they deal with each day on its own!!!!.... useless firm that only wants to make money by making as many cases as they can.....reported to SRA for conduct and basic ignorance to the needs of the client.
James ShawJames Shaw
14:06 03 Jun 24
Excellent service from HNK with a special mention to Lauren and Leigha. HNK managed to settle my claim to a satisfactory outcome. I was consulted along the way and was fully informed before making any decisions and before any action was taken. Definitely recommend
Ben StokesBen Stokes
12:43 26 Apr 24
Fantastic service throughout. Professional and knowledgeable solicitors who hold corrupt and dishonest police officers to account. Settled my case within 3 months. Made an awful situation somewhat better. Highly recommended.
imrie Michieimrie Michie
16:10 25 Apr 24
They kept me informed all the way through the process it did take time but they got me a result I will use then again and again and a special thanks to Michelle McMahon
Terry StaplesTerry Staples
14:22 25 Apr 24
Amazing and professional
Stephen ChipchaseStephen Chipchase
14:59 23 Apr 24
100% recommended, I was kept in the loop from the start and the team answered any questions I had.We had a fast resolution and should I be unfortunate enough to need solicitors in the future I won't hesitate calling HNK
Drew BellDrew Bell
11:45 04 Mar 24
Vivien was brilliant, I won my claim for damages received settling at 5k for a false arrest. She kept me in the loop and followed any instructions I gave her but at the same time she made sure I was informed enough to make certain decisions. Over all would highly recommend and definitely use these guys again if needed.
Col GilbertCol Gilbert
10:05 15 Feb 24
R MorleyR Morley
10:52 23 Jan 24
Stuck with me all the way through the start and got exactly the result I wanted and even more, didn't think I could be compensated as much due to the circumstances, thanks a lot and would recommend anyone to these services, always professional, keep up the good work.
Georgi KolevGeorgi Kolev
11:41 13 Jan 24
Exceptional Advocacy by HNK SolicitorsI am thrilled to share my outstanding experience with HNK Solicitors, who played an instrumental role in bringing action against the police on my behalf. From the outset, their professionalism and dedication were evident. HNK's expertise and strategic approach ensured a positive outcome, instilling confidence in me throughout the process. Their clear communication and genuine concern for my well-being set them apart. I highly recommend HNK Solicitors to anyone seeking expert legal representation. Thank you, HNK, for your exceptional support in securing justice.
Simon SiSimon Si
18:17 10 Jan 24
Very good service throughout, they constantly kept me in the loop and managed a very satisfactory result. I would gladly recommend their service,s to any experiencing the same sort of problems.Many thanksSimon
Loops EntLoops Ent
07:29 22 Dec 23
Very good Solicitor firm, very deligent with their approach. Was an absolute pleasure to work with as they took on my claims against the police and saw to it that a compensation was reached. However this is just one out of many potential cases so am looking forward to working with you guys again.
Dina 21Dina 21
16:35 11 Dec 23
I want to say that the experience I had with this solicitors has been very positive. As through no fault of theirs this case took alot of time.I was impressed with the end results.
Majik EMajik E
13:05 06 Dec 23
Michael Wharton kept me informed throughout my criminal injures claim and was always available for advice and reassurance. Just waiting for my claim to be paid out and that will be a satisfactory end to a traumatic event. Again a big thank you to HNK solicitors.
christian heathchristian heath
12:02 29 Nov 23
Been really helpful and quick at getting it done and processed.
Matthew HigginsMatthew Higgins
23:31 16 Nov 23
I highly recommend HNK Solicitors for their outstanding work on my case against the police. Vivian was fantastic, providing constant support and making the process much more comfortable. Thanks to the excellent teamwork between her and Alex, we won the case. If you've been wronged by the police, HNK Solicitors are the ones to call.
Being the first time having to fight a case against the police I was a bit apprehensive with what the outcome may of been but my solicitor demi was kind and professional and always made me feel at ease every time i spoke to her. I can't thank her enough for the work she put into fighting my case and having Alex as my barrister who I was extremely impress with how he handled my case was a true blessing. So grateful for them both and I have and would forever recommend anyone to work with the firm. Thanks again 😊
Milly FergusonMilly Ferguson
10:15 19 Oct 23
I would highly recommend!! Got my claim sorted out within months
Cw CwCw Cw
20:21 06 Oct 23
Lindsey FrancisLindsey Francis
14:33 29 Sep 23
Amazing service. prompt, successful and professional throughout. Would highly recommend.
17:07 25 Sep 23
I thank all involved in processing my claim successfuly. Everyone was professional,helpful and polite.
14:05 16 Sep 23
I took legal action against the police who had falsified evidence against me. I have no criminal record or history of wrong doing. Unlawful arrest, Imprisonment and use of force. With help from this legal firm I was awarded £££££££ in damages. Very Professional and they assured, and informed me throughout the full process.
_ MediaNPTGwent_ MediaNPTGwent
12:25 08 Sep 23
Have sought the help of Higgs Newton Kenyon Solicitors on a number of cases now, and they've been nothing but attentive and helpful at getting me the best outcome. Would highly recommend
Rob MarchantRob Marchant
18:39 29 Aug 23
Very satisfied with service provided to me! Would highly recommend this company to all ! Robert w Marchant.
Scott LPScott LP
15:09 26 Aug 23
They are lawyers, so $$$ is their only agenda and, thus, when we refused the offer of compensation in favour of a public apology, they ended up defending the perpetrators out of spite. Unethical is an understatement.
Courtney LvizCourtney Lviz
10:32 22 Aug 23
I am extremely satisfied with the exceptional service provided by Higgs Newton Kenyon solicitors. Their dedicated work and professionalism in handling my case led to a successful settlement that brought great relief. The team's commitment to excellence is truly impressive, and I appreciate their efforts. I highly recommend their services and am grateful for their support. Thank you, HNK solicitors!- Courtney LV
15:35 14 Aug 23
Excellent professionalism and outcome by Michelle McMahon, thank you.
FullStop BanditFullStop Bandit
16:24 05 Aug 23
Steer clear of Vivien Lee unless you are motivated purely and exclusively by undiluted greed and amorality.
Anthony SmithAnthony Smith
01:43 26 Jul 23
I must have drawn the short straw if all these positive reviews are authentic.My own case was handled mainly by para legals. Who displayed very little skill, or real knowledge of the law, and definitely lacked any kind of commitment. I received only one phone call in the three years it took them to 'resolve ' my case.The treatment I received from this firm was barely adequate. If you are thinking of using HNK my advice is find someone else. Unless you don't mind wasting three years of your life for very little in the way of compensation.
Very promising. Will update once completed.
Ankur deswalAnkur deswal
17:34 17 Jul 23
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22:34 09 Jul 23
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Kelsea NaismithKelsea Naismith
21:21 03 Jul 23
My solicitors name was Micheal Wharton, he done an amazing job in helping me with my case. He treated me with empathy, respect, and compassion. He is very understanding and kept me up to date with any updates/changes every step of the way. His communication skills are amazing, and he made me feel at ease when talking about my case and reassured me when I was worried.I would highly recommend Micheal Wharton as your solicitor he is very good at what he does and is very professional at all times whilst providing excellent support and advice.I can't thank Micheal enough for everything he has done for me.
Ellen BrownEllen Brown
08:39 31 May 23
Positive service. Treated me with kindness and respect. Didn't make me uncomfortable whilst doing their enquiries.Kept me in the loop at all times and helped me come to a decision that best suited me.Thank you to Michael Wharton for making the effort to help me 🙂
Al TommoAl Tommo
20:09 19 May 23
Very good service, couldn’t be happier with how they handled my claim and we also got justice and compensated rightly! 5 stars 10/10 does what it says on the tin thank you to the team at Hicks Newton Kenyon
brian morhanbrian morhan
17:01 26 Apr 23
Absolutely brilliant. They kept me in the loop throughout the process. I am very happy with the result. Very professional team. I would 100 percent recommend them. Thank you Michael.
amber-marie shoemarkamber-marie shoemark
16:30 24 Feb 23
Highly recommend using higgs Newton Kenyon solicitors I most definitely got my justice I deserved could not of done it with out Michael support I got the support and help the very first day Michael got in contact with me and all the support carried on all the way to the last day
M EdgertonM Edgerton
13:29 30 Jan 23
I contacted Higgs Newton Kenyon over a distressing experience with the police and feeling very vulnerable. Lynne Hughes helped me with my case and was really understanding and empathetic. It meant a lot to have someone speak for me and the outcome of the case was better than I expected. Thanks to their service I have been able to put this experience behind me and move on.Would recommend.