Back to top

Making a complaint about police

If you think a South Australia Police officer has acted inappropriately, you can make a complaint.

What can you make a complaint about?

You can make a complaint about any conduct of a South Australia Police officer that you consider to be a breach of professional standards.  This includes:

  • The negligent performance of duties
  • An officer’s honesty and integrity
  • Criminal or improper behaviour
  • Excessive force
  • Drug and alcohol use
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Misuse of information
  • Relations with the public, groups or organisations

We cannot  take action on:

  • Fines and defect notices issued by police
  • Decisions made by a court
  • The conduct of Australian Federal Police
  • The conduct of the New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania and Northern Territory police

 

External link

How can you make a complaint about police?

You can make a complaint to the OPI by:

You can also make your complaint to South Australia Police by:

What will happen to your complaint?

The OPI will refer your complaint about police to the Internal Investigations Section (IIS) of SAPOL, unless it refers it to the ICAC.

The OPI has oversight of complaints and reports assessed and investigated by the IIS.

The IIS will assess your complaint to determine the most appropriate action. The IIS can decline to take action if the matter is considered trivial, frivolous or vexatious, or it has been dealt with previously. If the OPI disagrees with the assessment made by the IIS, the OPI can reassess your complaint and the IIS will proceed according to that assessment.

If the IIS assesses your complaint as raising a potential issue of corruption, it will refer it to the OPI, who will bring it to the attention of the ICAC.

Communicating the outcome of your complaint

If your complaint is referred to the ICAC by the OPI, the ICAC will advise you of the outcome of any investigation.

If your complaint is being managed by the IIS, the IIS will advise you of any outcome from the assessment or investigation of your complaint.

All queries regarding complaints that are being investigated by the IIS must be made to the IIS. The OPI will not be able to update and advise you on matters that are being investigated by the IIS.

Reports about Police

If you are a designated officer under the Police Complaints and Discipline Act 2016 (ie a police officer, police cadet or special constable) then you have reporting obligations.  Section 12 of that Act provides that ‘a designated officer who reasonably suspects that another designated officer has engaged in conduct that constitutes corruption, misconduct or maladministration in public administration must report that suspicion in accordance with this section.

A report can be made to the Internal Investigation Section of SA Police or to the OPI.  

Fact Sheet

The scheme governing the making and management of complaints about South Australia Police is governed by the Police Complaints and Discipline Act 2016.

View the factsheet