If you are not satisfied with the service provided to you by the police or a police officer, you can lodge:
- a claim, if your claim against the police is not in relation with a criminal offence;
- a complaint, if your claim against the police is of a criminal nature.
Claims and complaints are regulated by different procedural frameworks.
The first are governed by article 5 of the law of 18 July 2018 regarding the General Police Inspectorate while the second are regulated by the "Code de Procédure pénale"
By informing the General Police Inspectorate (Inspection Générale de la Police - IGP) of your grievances or concerns, you can contribute to the continuous improvement of the services offered by the police.
Who is concerned
Each natural or legal person who deems to be in the presence of a misconduct or inappropriate behaviour by a member of the police force or a functional issue in a police department can lodge a claim or complaint with the IGP.
Similarly, police officers have the right to do the same.
A claim or complaint must be lodged as soon as possible, ideally within 6 months of the incident.
This time frame will allow the IGP to conduct an in-depth investigation and to prevent a possible time bar.
How to proceed
Lodging a claim or complaint
There is no specific form for lodging a claim or complaint.
In addition to submitting a claim or complaint online, claims/complaints can also be lodged with the IGP:
- by sending an email to email@example.com;
- in person at the premises of the IGP:
69, rue Verte
Phone: (+352) 26 48 53-1
(preferably by appointment only)
- by sending a letter to the following address:
Inspection générale de la Police
Claims and complaints can be submitted either directly or through the intermediary of a lawyer.
In exceptional cases, a claimant may request that their identity not be revealed. In principle, any claim or complaint addressed directly to the police will also be sent to the General Police Inspectorate.
Processing the claim or the complaint
The processing of the claim gives rise to an administrative investigation.
Each administrative investigation launched by the IGP will be communicated to the General Directorate of Police. The General Directorate of Police will inform the police officer concerned as well the latter's hierarchical superiors.
Upon receipt of the claim, and provided the claim triggers an administrative investigation, the claimant is informed in writing of the name of the investigator(s) tasked by the IGP. The claimant is also informed that he or she will be contacted.
Result of the claim or the complaint
At the end of the administrative investigation, the General Police Inspectorate communicates its conclusions and possible recommendations in writing to the General Directorate of Police, which will take a position and inform on the follow-up which it intends to give.
The General Directorate of Police informs the department or officer in question of the outcome of the investigations and the recommendations made by the IGP. Where applicable, the General Directorate of Police, for their part, undertakes the necessary internal measures (warnings, awareness training, adaptation of procedures and prescribed measures, etc.), following the conclusions of the IGP.
As regards the claimant, the IGP's conclusions will be communicated to him or her in broad terms only. The IGP then transmits the result of the administrative investigation in the form of a report to the responsible minister.
In the case of a formal complaint (for presumably criminal acts), the IGP will send their records and reports to the competent judicial authorities. The criminal procedure code will be applied in this case. As a result, the conclusions of an investigation can only be communicated by the competent territorial public prosecutor's office.
Withdrawal of a claim or complaint
The claimant may withdraw their claim or complaint in writing at any time.
However, the General Police Inspectorate may continue its investigations if it believes that the facts referred to need to be further investigated.
The IGP is not competent for complaints in order to challenge the validity of penalty notices, in particular fines arising from violations of the highway code. These complaints should be addressed directly to the officer who issued the fine, the police or the appropriate judicial authorities, before the penalty notice is paid.
The IGP is also not competent in matters of complaints which concern legal cases already in progress.
Each complaint which is obviously without foundation, not sufficiently detailed or not related to misconduct or a functional issue will not be investigated.
The decision not to further investigate a complaint will be explained and communicated in writing to the claimant. A copy of the letter will be sent to the minister and the Director General of Police.
Each claim/complaint lodged against a member of the police force or a police department which is clearly based on false or fictitious allegations and whose only purpose is to harm the members of the police force shall be deemed to be made in bad faith and shall therefore be likely to constitute a false accusation under article 445 of the Criminal Code.