Professional Standards – Frequently Asked Questions

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What types of complaints can be made?
There are two types of complaints: Misconduct and Service or Policy.

Misconduct Complaints

A complaint concerning any conduct of a police officer that is alleged to constitute misconduct may be made to and registered with the police complaint commissioner

  • by a person who is directly affected by, or who directly witnesses, the conduct,
  • by an individual known to and acting on behalf of a person described in paragraph (a), if the person on whose behalf the complaint is being made consents to its being made or is, because of age or a mental or physical condition, incapable of giving consent, or
  • by a third-party complainant.

Service or Policy Complaints

A member of the public may make a complaint regarding the general direction and management or operation of a municipal police department, or the inadequacy or inappropriateness of any of the following in respect of a municipal police department: its staffing or resource allocation; its training programs or resources; its standing orders or policies; its ability to respond to requests for assistance; its internal procedures.

Who investigates my complaint?
Police Act complaint investigations are investigated by the Professional Standards Section (PSS) of the involved member’s department. However, in some cases, the Chief Constable or the Police Complaint Commissioner (PCC) may direct that another police department conduct the investigation.
How can I ensure that an investigation is not biased (Police investigating Police)?
The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) ensures that the complaint process is conducted with impartiality and fairness to both the complainant and the police officer. The OPCC may direct a case for further investigation, reject a decision and direct a decision to be re-adjudicated.

A professional standards investigator will be assigned to the investigation and an analyst with the OPCC will monitor the investigation contemporaneously. Usually, the assigned investigator will contact the complainant to obtain further details and information about the complaint. The complainant and member under investigation have rights under the Police Act that include notification of investigative steps and disclosure of the investigation. Either party may appeal a disciplinary decision to the OPCC.

How do I file a complaint?
A complaint may be filed through any of these options:

  • Complete an On-line Complaint Form
  • Phone Delta Police Professional Standards Section: 604.595.2167
  • Fax: 604.946.4682
  • Email Professional Standards
  • Attend in person: 11375–84th Ave, Delta BC or 4455 Clarence Taylor Crescent, Delta BC.

Or you can contact the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner:

  • Phone OPCC: 1.877.999.8707
  • Fax: 250.356.6503
  • Email: info@opcc.bc.ca
  • Attend in person: 5th Floor, 947 Fort Street, Victoria BC.
What happens with a complaint?
If the Police Department receives the complaint, they will send it to the OPCC to review and determine admissibility.

To be an admissible complaint the complaint must contain allegations of police misconduct as defined under the Police Act; not be frivolous or vexatious; and the incident must have occurred within 12 months of the filing of the complaint.

If your complaint is deemed inadmissible you will be provided notice by the OPCC in writing with the reasons for their decision.

An admissible complaint will be resolved in one of three ways: Informal Resolution, Mediation, or Formal Investigation. The OPCC oversees to ensure a complaint reaches the appropriate resolution.

What is an Informal Resolution?
Informal Resolution (IR) is suitable for less serious allegations. IR can only be applied if both the complainant and the officer consent to the procedure. The proposed resolution must be agreed to in writing. The OPCC will review the proposed agreement and whether such a resolution is in the public interest.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a form of dispute resolution where a professionally trained mediator assists the complainant and the officer to resolve the dispute and reach a mutually satisfying resolution. Mediation takes place in a neutral environment and is confidential to encourage open and honest communication. The OPCC will review the complaint to determine whether the public interest is best served by mediation.
What is a Formal Investigation?
The formal investigative process is reserved for complaints that cannot be resolved in any other manner. An analyst is assigned to oversee the investigation. The investigator is required by the Police Act to provide periodic reports on the progress of the investigation to the OPCC, member and complainant. The investigator has six months to complete the investigation and provide the OPCC and the Discipline Authority (DA) with a final investigation report. The DA will review the report and provide a written decision with reasons. The OPCC, complainant and the member will receive a copy of the DA’s decision and the final investigation report.
Can I disagree with a Discipline Authority’s decision?
Yes, a complainant can request a review of the decision, and further investigation.