How to make a complaint against a police officer

If the drift of Canada towards a police state has not yet affected you directly, you would do well to recall the words of Pastor Martin Niemoller, writing in Germany before his arrest in the 1930s: "The Nazis came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I was a Protestant, so I didn't speak that time there was nobody left to speak up for anyone."

How to make a complaint against a police officer

Postby Thomas » Sat Oct 11, 2014 7:46 am

If you have a complaint against a police officer or a police service about police conduct, policies or services, there are several things you can do. These include: starting a civil lawsuit against the officer, laying a criminal charge, and, filing a complaint.

First, suing a police officer in a civil lawsuit generally involves preparing for a trial and going to court. If you are able to prove your complaint against the officer, the judge may order the officer to pay damages for the injuries you suffered. In most cases, it will be difficult to prove your complaint, and your chances of success will be minimal. In addition, it will be time consuming and very expensive to cover the costs of a formal trial. However, if you decide to pursue this method, make sure you start a civil action against the police officer within six months from when the event happened.

Laying a criminal charge
Second, if you believe a police officer has committed a criminal offence, you can lay a criminal charge against the officer. To lay a criminal charge, you need to meet with a justice of the peace, and swear on oath that a crime has been committed and explain the details of the event. Depending on the type of criminal offence in question, there may be a time-limit for when charges can be laid. You should consult a lawyer for assistance.

Filing a complaint with the Police
Third, you may bring a public complaint against a police officer who is a member of either a municipal police service or the Ontario Provincial Police. The Police Services Act requires that complaints have to be in writing and signed by the complainant. This complaint can be submitted to the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD), or to the chief of police of the police service involved. If you file your complaint with the chief of police, he or she will then forward it to the OIPRD. In 2009, the OIPRD replaced the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services for overseeing complaints about police.

Generally, for your complaint to be investigated three criteria must be met:

    you must have been directly affected by the police actions complained of,
    you should have submitted your complaint within six months of the incident, and
    your complaint must be made in good faith. ... ficer.html
Thomas, Administrator

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 1934
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:18 pm
Location: Canada

Return to Policing the Police

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest