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Reviews, Complaints and Compliments


Following changes to legislation on the 1st February 2020, appeals that were previously dealt with by the Chief Constable will fall to the Police and Crime Commissioner.  The new process will be know as a ‘Review’.  The new process includes provision that the review can only be against the outcome of a formal complaint, the right of review does not apply to an informal complaint.

The Police and Crime Commissioner is the relevant review body in most cases (the exception being those highlighted below). Northumbria Police will inform you of your right to apply for a review and direct you to this page on the OPCC website in their communication with you. The application for review must be made within 28 days starting the day after you received the outcome.

  • The complaint is about the conduct of a senior officer (an officer holding a rank above Chief Superintendent).  IOPC is the relevant review body.
  • The appropriate authority is unable to satisfy itself, from the complaint alone, that the conduct complained of (it it were proved) would not justify the bringing of criminal or disciplinary proceedings or would not involve the infringement of a person’s rights under Article 2 or 3 of the ECHR (ie right to life and prohibition of torture). IOPC is the relevant review body.
  • The complaint has been, or must be referred to the IOPC. IOPC is the relevant review body.
  • The IOPC is treating the complaint as having been referred.  IOPC is the relevant review body.
  • The complaint arises from the same incident as a complaint falling within the above. IOPC is the relevant review body.

You can find out more about the role of the IOPC at

All reviews for Northumbria have been delegated by the Police and Crime Commissioner to the Director of Confidence, Standards and Reviews, as set out in the IOPC Statutory guidance.

If your complaint to Northumbria Police qualifies for an OPCC review the following information must be sent to or in writing to Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Victory House, Benton Lane, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE12 8EW – Due to Covid-19, we would recommend, if possible you send your request for a review by email.

* The details of the complaint.  * The date on which the complaint was made.  * The name of the force who decision is the subject of the application and the date on which the complainant was provided with the outcome.  * The details about their right of review at the conclusion of the investigation or other handling of their complaint * Please explain would you would like to happen.

Alternatively, please download and complete the review form which can be found here.

Only the complainant or someone acting on their behalf can make an application for a review.

What you can expect from us – 

Within five days of receiving the application for a review, we will acknowledge your correspondence and inform you when you can expect to hear about the review and what will happen next.  You will also be given a point of contact for any queries. Decisions will be reached as soon as practicable, however, the OPCC will provide an update every 28 days.

The role of the OPCC will be to offer the opportunity to consider whether the complaint outcome is reasonable and proportionate and, if not, to put things right.

To try and make the process of submitting a review a little easier, we have created a list of Frequently Asked Questions which you can find here about reviews or here for complaints.


Northumbria Police officers and staff work hard to serve the communities of Northumbria, officers and staff often go above and beyond what is expected of them.  If you want to compliment the team who has assisted you, please email

Complaints (not Reviews):

We hope that you don’t have a complaint, but if you do we want to resolve it as quickly as possible.   If your complaint is about policing or about a specific officer or member of police staff, you should use the following link to make the complaint to Northumbria Police to allow the Complaints Team to contact you to help resolve your concerns.

If you are not satisfied with how Northumbria Police deals with your complaint you may be eligible to make an application for a review to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (information above) or if appropriate, to the IOPC. It is important to remember, that the Police and Crime Commissioner has no authority to investigate complaints about the police (except the Chief Constable – see below), only the police themselves or the IOPC have that authority. This is in accordance with government legislation. Accordingly any complaints received will be forwarded to Northumbria Police for action. However, if after receiving the outcome to your complaint, if applicable, you may wish to apply for a review as outlined above.

Although the PCC does not deal with or investigate complaints against the police, she does have a role in monitoring complaints against the police.  The PCC will also publish on her website the number of review applications received each month and the outcomes.

If your complaint is about the Chief Constable, the Police and Crime Commissioner will deal with such complaints. The ‘Contact Us’ page or by emailing should be used to inform the Commissioner of your complaint.

Complaints about members of staff in the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner  should be made direct to the Chief of Staff of the OPCC, Ruth Durham, using either the details found on the ‘Contact Us’ page or emailing

There is a slightly different process to follow when complaining about the Police & Crime Commissioner. In accordance with the provisions that are contained in the Elected Local Policing Bodies (Complaints and Misconduct) Regulations 2012, the Police & Crime Panel have determined that any complaints about the Police and Crime Commissioner or the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner (if applicable) will be dealt with, in the first instance, by the Monitoring Officer, who is the Chief of Staff at the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Ruth Durham.

If you wish to complain about the Chief of Staff you may write directly to the Police and Crime Commissioner using either the details on the ‘Contact Us’ page or emailing

Independent Office for Police Conduct (IPOC)


Our Complaints Policy

You can view our complaints policy by clicking on the following link OPCC for Northumbria Complaints Policy