There are a number of different ways that the police can be held to account if you are not in agreement with a decision they have made. This may arise, where for example a decision is made not to prosecute an offender whose actions have impacted your life. We have written in previous articles that the police will often provide a reason or reasons when denying you justice but upon deeper scrutiny, it is apparent the reasoning is flawed.

Here at BP Collins, we have many years of experience in holding the police to account.  Ultimately we can issue proceeding in Judicial Review should the police have failed in their fundamental obligations to pursue all reasonable lines of inquiry or when their justification for a decision is irrational. A Judicial Review should always remain a last option. In many cases, the best starting point is to liaise with the officer in the case to fact find and understand any reasoning. Sometimes the issue can be resolved at a low level where the officer is provided with information to show, for example, that they have misunderstood or misapplied the law. Failing that, we would look to utilise the Professional Standard complaints process. This is where we have the opportunity, in a more formal way to challenge the police on a number of different levels. Perhaps it may relate to a failure to comply with the obligations imposed on an investigation team or perhaps the investigation teams has acted in a way that brings the police service into disrepute.

Let us not forget the police are a public service. Funding issues have crippled them over the last decade but the obligations imposed upon them remains unchanged. Sometimes what is needed are appropriate representations setting out the law, showing the police have misapplied/misunderstood it in some way including representations that an investigation was terminated too soon. That may get the investigation back on track again. Sometimes the police via Professional Standards prove more intransigent and in those cases, the threat of, or the issuing of proceedings for a Judicial Review can unlock the door that was before that point, shut firmly in your face. A clear and focussed strategy is key.

In the event that you feel you have been let down by the police or are confused as to any reasoning given to you as a victim of crime, please do call our experienced teams of lawyers in the criminal team who will happily consider with you any next steps available and the implications on 01753 889995, or email

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Related Team Specialists

Jonothan Moss
Principal Lawyer
Matthew Brandis
Practice Group Leader

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