Complaints FAQs

Q. What is a complaint?

A. Complaints generally have to do with police misconduct that affected you personally or that you witnessed. Most complaints are about police actions that may affect public trust.

Your complaint must be made no more than 12 months after the incident occurred.

Your right to make a complaint against the Victoria Police Department is set out in the B.C. Police Act. This law affects all municipal police in British Columbia.

Q. Where can I make a complaint?

A. You can make your complaint to the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner directly or to the Victoria Police Department.

The VicPD is committed to ensuring that your complaint will be thoroughly investigated, and that your rights and the rights of the police officers concerned are protected.

Q. How can you make a complaint?

A. When making your complaint, it is helpful to have a clear account of what happened, such as all the dates, times, people and places involved.

The person receiving the complaint has a duty to:

  • help you make your complaint
  • offer you any other information or assistance as required under the Act, such as helping you write down what happened

We can give you information about support and services that may be available to you, including translation. For more information, see Compliments & Complaints.

Q. Can I resolve a complaint informally?

A. Public complaints provide police with important feedback and give them the opportunity to respond to concerns in their communities.

You may try to resolve your complaint informally. This can be done through face-to-face discussions or with the assistance of a professional mediator.

If you try informal resolution, you can have someone with you to provide support.

A complaint process that allows for an apology or informal resolution strengthens community-based policing.

Q. What happens to a complaint that is not resolved informally?

A. If you decide against informal resolution or if it is unsuccessful, the police have a duty to investigate your complaint and to give you detailed information about their investigation.

You will be given the first report within 30 days of the start of the investigation, followed by updates every 20 days. The investigation is to be completed within six months of your complaint being lodged.

When the investigation is completed, you will get a summary report, including a brief factual account of the incident, a list of the steps taken during the investigation, and information about any proposed discipline of the police force member involved.