Complaints and Conduct


What is a complaint

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction that can cover a whole range of things from policies to behaviour. A lot of policing is highly regulated and there are some rigid frameworks that cover, for example, certain types of complaint about individual officers and staff. Other types of complaint have their own processes. For this reason our complaints policy does not cover:

  • matters that have already been fully investigated through the complaints procedure
  •  anonymous complaints
  •  complaints about access to information where procedures and remedies are set out in the legislation, e.g. the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Data Protection Act 1998.

If your complaint is about the conduct of the Police and Crime Commissioner or Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner  

All complaints about me as Police and Crime Commissioner or my Deputy received by my office will be referred with my Chief Executive's authorisation, to the Police and Crime Panel. This is the body set up by your local councils to oversee some of the functions of the Commissioner and which is responsible for handling complaints about the Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioner.

If your complaint is about an officer of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner    

The officers that support my work aim to provide a service which is both efficient and fair. However, if you are not satisfied with any service you have received or if you feel you have been treated unfairly you can complain to the Chief Executive and Solicitor, who may deal with this himself or delegate the investigation of the complaint to another officer. 

If your complaint is about the conduct of the Chief Executive and Solicitor you should address your concerns directly to me as Commissioner.  

You will be informed of the outcome of any investigation and if required any action that has been, or will, take place. 

If your complaint is about the personal conduct of the Chief Constable or Temporary Chief Constable

As Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, I am responsible for dealing with complaints about the Chief Constable or Temporary Chief Constable. Your complaint will be assessed by the Chief Executive and staff in my office and you will have a right of appeal about our decisions to the Independent Office for Police Conduct. You can access a the 'Putting Things Right' form here.

If your complaint is about the conduct of any police officer (other than the Chief Constable), police and community support officer, police staff or special constable.  

The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 introduced changes to the police complaints system to make sure that complaints are handled at the lowest appropriate level and that the focus is on putting right what a member of the public complains about. This Act provides for me as the Commissioner to ensure that the Chief Constable handles all complaints correctly. 

Your complaint may be sent to West Yorkshire Police force or it can be sent to me. You can access the complaint form from either website - or

For more information on complaints, and to find out who is the appropriate body to deal with your complaint, please read the "Dealing with Complaints" document attached below.

How to send a complaint to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire 

You will need to complete the Putting Things Right form which can be posted to you on request, or you can download a copy here. 

Once completed this can be: 

posted to Putting Things Right, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Ploughland House, 62 George Street, Wakefield, WF1 1DL 


sent by email to [email protected]

More information 

Click here to view the policy setting out  how the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner will deal with any complaints received.(PDF 190kb)

Click here to find out how to make a complaint, including the form to be completed. (Word Document 156kb)

Click here to view the policy setting out how the  Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner will deal with unreasonably persistent complainants and unreasonable complainant behaviour.(PDF 282kb)

Root and Branch Review of Complaints      

On 15 May 2013 Mark launched an independent review into the way police complaints and conduct are currently handled.

The review, which has implications for the way police forces' across the country will investigate complaints, will be led by Catherine Crawford, former Chief Executive of the London Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime.

The terms of reference for the review are as follows:-


'Ensuring integrity' in West Yorkshire Police Service is a vision set out in the Police and Crime Plan 2013-18 and this independent review fulfils an important commitment made by the Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson to the people of West Yorkshire. It is supported and welcomed by the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police.


To conduct a strategic review of the arrangements for and the approach to the way in which complaints and conduct matters are handled by the West Yorkshire Police to ensure integrity and to restore public trust and confidence in policing across West Yorkshire.

To find out more click here


© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019