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 should be made no more than 12 months after the incident occurred; some exceptions may be made by the OPCC where deemed appropriate.
Your right to make a complaint against the Victoria Police Department is set out in the Police Act. This law affects all municipal police officers in British Columbia.
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.
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 services that may be available to you, including translation. For more information, see Compliments & Complaints.
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 using a complaint resolution process. This can be done through face-to-face discussions, an agreed written resolution, or with the assistance of a professional mediator.
If you try complaint resolution, you can have someone with you to provide support.
A complaint process that allows for greater mutual understanding, agreement, or other resolution only serves to strengthen community-based policing.
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 provided with updates as the investigation progresses as specified by the Police Act. The investigation shall be completed within six months of your complaint being deemed admissible, unless the OPCC finds it is appropriate to grant an extension.
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 a copy of the Discipline Authority’s decision on the matter. If officer misconduct is substantiated, information about any proposed discipline or corrective measures for the member may be shared.