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Making a Complaint

Making a Complaint

If you have been harassed or treated unfairly by police, you can lodge a formal complaint. How you do this depends on where you are.


It is important to provide as much detail as you can if you make a complaint. It is a great idea to write everything down immediately after an incident. This could be on paper, but it could also be an email to yourself, as this shows the date and time you made the notes. Include things like the name and badge number of the police officers involved (they need to give this information to you if you ask for it), the place, date and time, who was there, and as much of the exact language used as you can remember.


Keep in mind that for some complaints there are time limits, which means you have to make a complaint within a certain time. Also, where the police have recorded an incident through body worn cameras or CCTV footage, you can request a copy of this. Footage may only be held for a number of days, so if you do want to make a request, make sure you do not delay.


It is best to seek professional help in writing a complaint to make sure you don’t make any admissions that could harm your own situation, and to ensure that the complaint is effective.

Northern Territory

Complaints about unfair treatment by NT police can be made:


Complaints in Queensland are made directly to the Queensland Police Service. Outcomes of complaints however are subject to review by the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC).

Western Australia

To make a complaint you can contact your local police station or visit the complaints website.

New South Wales

A complaint about the NSW Police Force or its employees can be made to the Commissioner of Police or the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC).


Visit the Victoria Police website for more information about making a complaint.

South Australia

You can make a complaint about any conduct of a police officer that you consider to be criminal or a breach of professional standards.


If you have a complaint about police conduct, you must lodge it in writing within 6 months of becoming aware of the conduct. Visit the website here. If you are not satisfied with how the Police Commissioner handled your complaint, you may wish to complain to the Tasmanian Ombudsman.

Australian Capital Territory

ACT Policing services are provided by members of the Australian Federal Police (AFP). Complaints about the AFP are within the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth Ombudsman who is also the Law Enforcement Ombudsman. In this capacity, the Ombudsman can investigate complaints about the actions of AFP members and about the policies, practices and procedures of the AFP as an agency.

Find out more about making a complaint here.

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