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writing-letters-of-complaint pdf

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									ADDRESS     COMPLAINTS TO:                                              WHAT     COUNTS AS A         COMPLAINT?                   HOW     DO I COMPLAIN?

Office of the Police Complaint
Commissioner
                                       making a                         If you think that a police officer acted wrongly,
                                                                        you have the right to complain, whether or not
                                                                                                                                  You can make a complaint in writing, over the
                                                                                                                                  phone, or in person.


                                     complaint
#900 - 1111 Melville Street                                             you were personally affected by the action.
Vancouver, BC V6E 3V6                                                                                                             If you make an oral complaint, the police will fill
Phone: (604) 660-2385                                                   A complaint might be about any of the following:          out a complaint form with the details you give
                                                                                                                                  them. Check to be certain that the information


                                      against
Fax: (604) 660-1223                                                     M neglect of duty or poor service
Toll Free: 1-800-663-7867                                                                                                         written on the form is correct and complete
                                                                        M rude or disrespectful behaviour                         before signing the form.
Web: www.opcc.bc.ca
                                                                        M misuse of confidential information


                                        the
Commission for Public Complaints                                                                                                  A letter of complaint is the most effective way
                                                                        M discrimination
Against the RCMP                                                                                                                  to complain. Your letter should contain the
                                                                        M search, arrest or detention                             information described (below) in this pamphlet.
#102 – 7337 137th Street
Surrey, BC V3W 1A4                                                      M use of force.
                                                                                                                                  If you want help in writing your letter of complaint,
Phone: (604) 501-4080                                                                                                             the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA)
                                                                        You can also complain if you think that
Fax: (604) 501-4095                                                                                                               may be able to assist you.
                                                                        a police policy is unwise, or that the level of service
Toll Free: 1-800-665 6878
                                                                        provided by the police is not satisfactory.
Email: complaints@cpp.gc.ca                                                                                                       Assistance in translating a letter into English
Web: www.cpc-cpp.gc.ca                                                         Do not hesitate to complain, even if               may be available from MOSAIC
                                                                             you are unsure whether your complaint                (see back panel).
FOR   ASSISTANCE WITH ENGLISH:                                                is legitimate. It is the duty of police
                                          produced by the                          to respond to all complaints.
MOSAIC                                                                                                                            HOW DO I BEGIN MY LETTER?
1522 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC V5L 3Y2
                                     BC Civil Liberties                 To find out about other legal remedies open to
                                                                        you, you can consult a lawyer.                            If your complaint is against a municipal police force:
Phone: (604) 254-9626
Fax: (604) 254-3932
                                       Association                                                                                M Address your letter to the Chief Constable.
                                                                                                                                    Begin by stating that you wish to make
Email: mosaicbc@mosaic.com                                              WHEN SHOULD I COMPLAIN?                                     a complaint under the Police Act.
Web: www.mosaicbc.com                   with assistance from the
                                       Public Legal Education Program   As soon as possible — while your memory                   If your complaint is against the RCMP:
FOR   FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:                  of the              is fresh and any evidence is still available.
                                                                                                                                  M Address your letter to the Commanding Officer
B.C. Civil Liberties Association        Legal Services Society of BC                                                                of the RCMP detachment.
                                                                        There are no time limits for complaints
425 - 815 West Hastings Street                                          against the RCMP. However, a municipal police               Begin by stating that you wish to make
Vancouver, BC V6C 1B4                              2002                                                                             a complaint under the RCMP Act.
Phone: (604) 687-2919                                                   force can refuse to investigate a complaint
Fax: (604) 687-3045                                                     made more than 12 months after the incident.
                                                                                                                                  It is not necessary for you to be familiar with
Email: info@bccla.org
Web: www.bccla.org                                                                                                                either of these Acts.
WHAT     INFORMATION                                CAN    THE POLICE CHOOSE WHICH PARTS                     HOW     DO I END THE LETTER?                            WHAT     WILL HAPPEN?
SHOULD I INCLUDE?                                   OF MY COMPLAINT TO INVESTIGATE?
                                                                                                             Sign and date your letter, and include:                 Your complaint will be given to a senior police
The second part of your letter should detail        The third part of your letter should state clearly       M your name and an address                              officer for investigation. You may be asked for
why you are complaining.                            which of the police actions or policies described                                                                more information, or to attend an interview, a
                                                                                                             M a telephone number at which you can be
                                                    above you want to complain about, and why you                                                                    mediation session, or a meeting at which the
                                                                                                               reached, or where a message can be left for you.
If your complaint is about a police policy          think they were wrong.                                                                                           police will try to resolve your complaint
or level of service:                                                                                         You should keep at least two copies of the letter.      informally.
M identify the policy or service issue that         You should number each of these actions or
                                                                                                                                                                     The BCCLA can provide information about these
   concerns you.                                    policies, and state clearly that you want the police     HOW     DO   I   SUBMIT MY LETTER?
                                                    to respond to each one.                                                                                          procedures, and may also be able to attend an
If your complaint is about an incident of                                                                                                                            interview with you.
                                                                                                             A complaint against a municipal police force:
police conduct, describe the incident fully,
                                                                                                             M can be delivered by hand, faxed or mailed to the      If an informal resolution or mediation is tried, but
including:                                          STATE    THE RESPONSE YOU EXPECT
                                                                                                               municipal police department.                          is not successful, the police will continue their
                                                                                                               (Municipal police departments are listed in the       investigation, and mail you a written, formal
                                                    The fourth part of the letter should state what kind
M the date, time and location of the incident                                                                  Blue Pages at the back of the telephone book.)        response to your complaint. Try to be patient —
                                                    of response will satisfy you. This will of course
M exactly what happened, in the order in which                                                               M or mailed/faxed/emailed/delivered to the              this could take several months.
                                                    depend on the nature of your complaint.
  it happened                                                                                                  Office of the Police Complaint
M name(s) or badge number(s) of the officer(s)      For example, you could ask for:                            Commissioner (see back panel)                         CAN I    APPEAL?
  involved (if you know them), or a description     M explanations for a policy or level of service,
                                                                                                             A complaint against the RCMP:
  of the officer(s)                                   or for police actions                                                                                          If you are not satisfied with the response,
                                                                                                             M can be delivered by hand, faxed or mailed             you can appeal the decision. The BCCLA can
M names, addresses and telephone numbers            M changes to a policy or level of service
                                                                                                               to the RCMP detachment.                               provide information about the appeal process.
  of any witnesses                                  M an apology, either from the officer(s) or                (Local detachments are listed under                   There are time limits, so you must act quickly.
M if you received medical treatment as a result       from the police force                                    “Royal Canadian Mounted Police” in the
   of the incident, the name of the doctor who      M counselling or further training for the officer(s)                                                             If the police refuse to investigate your
                                                                                                               telephone book.)
   treated you, or the name of the medical clinic     involved                                                                                                       complaint because it is too old, or because they
                                                                                                             M or mailed/faxed/emailed/delivered to the
M copies of any photographs taken of injuries or    M disciplinary action, such as a reprimand,                                                                      view it as trivial or unbelievable, you will receive
                                                                                                               RCMP Public Complaints Commission
  damage sustained in the incident.                   suspension, demotion or firing                                                                                 a letter saying so. You can appeal this
                                                                                                               (see back panel).
                                                                                                                                                                     decision. The BCCLA can help you with an
                                                    M criminal charges to be laid
                                                                                                                                                                     appeal.
Note: Your letter of complaint may contain          M financial compensation.
both conduct and policy issues                                                                                   Note: The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner and the Commission for Public
                                                    You may not know exactly what kind of a response
or service issues.                                                                                               Complaints against the RCMP are civilian agencies whose job is to:
                                                    you want. If so, simply ask for a “full and reasonable
                                                                                                                 M receive complaints from the public,
                                                    response.”
                                                                                                                 M ensure that the police treat complainants fairly, and
                                                                                                                 M accept appeals from people who are not satisfied with the police response to their complaint

								
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