Sometimes we have a bad experience while dealing with a police officer as he may be rude or sounds unreasonable. Also, one may feel that the officer is misusing his authority which can lead to sheer frustration. In such a scenario, it becomes all the way necessary to lodge a complaint against such officer.
When to lodge a complaint?
Since you are a civilian, you can file a complaint in the event of bad conduct on the part of a police officer. Else you can make a complaint about the officer on someone else’s behalf provided you have the written confirmation or authorization from them.
Following circumstances calls for filing a complaint-
If the officer has used unnecessary force.
If he has spoken bad words.
If he has jeopardize your fundamental rights.
If he has arrested you without any valid proof.
If you are not a direct victim but can lodge a complaint if he has behaved badly with some other person.
A complaint should include-
The first and foremost important thing is that the complaint should be made within 12 months of the incident held. Also, the complaint so made should include the all details like what happened, how, when, who is the culprit, who witnessed it, the damage so occurred and the valid proofs etc.
Gather the Facts
It is very important to get all the details before filing a complaint. Having valid evidence against the officer is the most crucial thing and frames the basis of complaint lodging. Further it is important to note the time and place of the incident so occurred. Moreover, recording the identity of the police officer through his badge number or vehicle number is mandatory. Other important consideration is to gather all the details like name, contact number, address etc of witnesses.
If the incident has been recorded in CCTV footage or if anyone has taken photographs of the incident, it can work as a great tool against the officer’s bad behavior and can help a lot. Also, look out for someone who wants to complain about the same officer or incident. It will give weightage to your case.
How to complain?
You can complain to the Police Complaints Authority. Further, taking a legal advice also a good idea as it can help your case to the great extent.
Substitutes to the formal complaints
If you are reluctant to lodge a formal complaint, you can try other ways like asking a senior officer to look into the matter without following the formal procedure. The officer can take an informal route to the complaint handling.
How complaints are dealt with?
There is a separate department in police service that handles complaints lodged by any civilian against the misbehavior by a particular officer. The department conducts a thorough scrutiny taking into account all the details of the case, evidences and statements given by the witnesses under the guidance and supervision of an independent member of PCA.
The abovementioned procedure can help you to seek redressal in case of misconduct done by a police officer.