The Police Ombudsman's Office look at evidence to decide whether police officers have acted properly or not. They also investigate complaints against some, but not all, civilian employees of the police. This includes employees performing custody or escort duties for the police.
Their decisions are made entirely independently of the police, government and complainants.
You do not have to pay to complain to them.
The Police Ombudsman deals with complaints against:
- The Police Service of Northern Ireland (police officers and designated civilians)
- National Crime Agency officers in Northern Ireland
- The Belfast Harbour Police
- The Belfast International Airport Police
- The Ministry of Defence police in Northern Ireland
- Immigration officers and some customs officials in Northern Ireland ("serious cases" only)
You can make a complaint:
- Online via their websitehttps://policeombudsman.org/Complaints/English
- Telephone - please call 0300 123 2989
- Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- By post or in person at the following address:
Police Ombudsman of Northern Ireland
New Cathedral Buildings
11 Church Street
The Police Ombudsman’s offices are open between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Please call 0300 123 2989 to make an appointment.
* Telephone calls may be recorded for joint protection, training and other lawful purposes.
Please try to give the Police Ombudsman's Office as much information as you can about the incident you are complaining about, including such things as:
- the day, time, date and exact location of the incident
- the name, shoulder number and a physical description of the officer(s) or employee involved
- the name, address and telephone number(s) of any witnesses
- the registration numbers of any vehicles involved in the incident
- any other helpful or relevant evidence, such as photographs or audio or video footage
You must make your complaint within one year of the incident you are concerned about.
In special circumstances, the Police Ombudsman can decide to investigate a complaint about something that happened more than a year before it was reported to them. This happens when the Police Ombudsman believes the complaint to be grave or exceptional.
You can find out more about making a complaint by clicking here.