Complain about a police officer

Making a complaint about NSW police officers NSW Police conduct

The NSW Police Force mission is to work together with the community to establish a safer environment through the reduction of violence, crime and fear.

Employees of the NSW Police Force are expected to conduct themselves with the highest level of professionalism and integrity ensuring that their authority is exercised responsibly.

If you are dissatisfied or concerned about your interactions with NSW police officers, you have a right to complain.

How to complain

To complain about NSW police officers, you can contact the Customer Assistance Unit on 1800 622 571. You can also visit your local police station to try and resolve the matter. Often the most effective and timely approach for resolving customer service matters is to talk to us.

To lodge a formal complaint you must do so in writing. You can do this by completing the form attached to this brochure. Written complaints can be left at, or mailed to, your local police station or mailed to the Customer Assistance Unit at PO Box 3427, Tuggerah, NSW 2259 or lodge your complaint online.

You can also complain about the conduct of NSW police officers through the NSW Ombudsman or the Police Integrity Commission. In most circumstances complaints received by these agencies will be referred to the NSW Police Force to resolve.

What information should you provide?

When making a complaint you should provide as much detail as possible to assist us to respond appropriately to your complaint. The information you should try to include is:

  • your name and contact details;
  • a detailed description of the matter being reported;
  • date, time and location of the incident;
  • the names of people involved, or who could otherwise assist us to resolve your complaint;
  • the names (if known) of the NSW police officers involved;
  • details of any documents, records, witnesses etc, that may assist in the resolution of your complaint;
  • what you expect the NSW Police Force to do about your concern; and
  • any other information you consider relevant.

How will we respond to your complaint?

Complaints will usually be managed at your local police station.

The NSW Police Force can manage your complaint in a number of ways in order to reach an appropriate outcome. These options range from simply discussing the complaint with you and the involved police officers to conducting a criminal investigation.

The NSW Ombudsman and the Police Integrity Commission oversee our processes to ensure we manage complaints appropriately.

What to expect from us

Once you have lodged a written complaint you can expect the NSW Police Force to:

  • protect your confidentiality;
  • advise you of the receipt of your complaint and how we intend to manage it;
  • keep you advised of the progress of our management of your complaint;
  • consult with you on the action we intend to take as a result of the complaint, if practicable;
  • advise you of the action taken as a result of the complaint; and
  • obtain advice from you on whether you are satisfied with the action taken in response to your complaint.

What NSW Police asks of you

To effectively manage complaints about its employees, the NSW Police Force needs your cooperation through:

  • providing information that is as specific and complete as possible;
  • maintaining confidentiality; and
  • having realistic expectations.

False complaints

It is an offence under the Police Act 1990 to knowingly make a false complaint about a police officer or to give false or misleading information during the investigation of a complaint. This is punishable by up to 12 months imprisonment.

It is also an offence under the Crimes Act 1900, punishable by up to 7 years imprisonment, to falsely accuse a person of a crime.

Further questions

If you have any further questions about making complaints about NSW police officers, please contact the NSW Police Force Customer Assistance Unit at customerassistance@police.nsw.gov.au or on 1800 622 571 or the NSW Ombudsman on 02 9286 1000.

Downloads

Lodge a Complaint Online