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When to make a complaint about police

Generally, a complaint should be lodged as soon as possible after the incident. Prompt lodging of a complaint improves the chances of a successful investigation.

However, the complainant needs to consider when is the best time to lodge their complaint. If the police have charged the person, or are considering whether to lay charges, lodging a complaint might disadvantage the accused.

Complainants should talk to a lawyer before they make a complaint, especially if they have been charged with an offence.

Delaying a complaint until the conclusion of criminal proceedings

In some circumstances it may be worth considering delaying the lodgement of a complaint until after the conclusion of any criminal proceedings.

One option is to lodge the complaint with the Independent broad-based anti-corruption commission (IBAC) and ask that they do not proceed with the investigation until after criminal proceedings have concluded.

More information


The Law Handbook

The Fitzroy Legal Service’s Law Handbook has information about the issues with making a complaint against a police officer.

See To lodge or not to lodge a complaint?

Independent broad-based anti-corruption commission (IBAC)

Complaints about police misconduct can be made to this independent statutory body.

See Independent broad-based anti-corruption commission (IBAC).