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Q. Who can make a complaint against the police?
A. Any member of the public can make a complaint against the police. Some people, however, are excluded from making a complaint against the police because they work for that service, work for the OIPRD or are responsible for the police service, such as a member of that service’s police services board. The Solicitor General (Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services) cannot file a complaint against the police.

Q. Why are complaints made about a police services and policies?
A. Complaints may be made against a police service because a person may object to the way a service was delivered or may not agree with the policies of a particular police service.

Q. How do I know that the information I put onto the form will remain private and won’t be shared with others?
A. The OIPRD is required to share the information on your complaint with the chief of the police service in question and the investigator of your complaint. Sometimes this will be another police service. The respondent officer will also receive limited information about your complaint. All police services and the OIPRD must follow the confidentiality requirements set out in the Police Services Act.

The Independent Police Review Act states that the OIPRD must publish on the Internet the results of all disciplinary hearings resulting from a public complaint. Whatever information is included in the decision will be made public.

The OIPRD is also subject to the strict privacy requirements set out in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, as as well as section 26.1(9) and section 95 of the Police Services Act.
Q. Can the OIPRD begin an investigation into a specific incident if no complaint has been filed?
A. No, the OIPRD cannot investigate a specific incident unless a complaint is filed. However, the OIPRD can begin a systemic review or an audit at any time, without a complaint being filed.