About Us

The Police Ombudsman's Office provides independent, impartial investigation of complaints about the police in Northern Ireland.

We look at evidence to decide whether police officers have acted properly or not. Examples of the types of things we investigate include complaints that:

  • officers failed to conduct proper enquiries
  • officers used excessive force
  • officers were rude or aggressive
  • or acted inappropriately in other ways.

We also investigate complaints about some, but not all, civilian employees of the police. This includes those performing custody and escort duties.

Our decisions are made entirely independently of the police, government and complainants.

You do not have to pay to complain to us.

We deal with complaints about:

  • The Police Service of Northern Ireland
  • National Crime Agency officers in Northern Ireland
  • Belfast Harbour Police
  • Belfast International Airport Police
  • Ministry of Defence police in Northern Ireland
  • Immigration officers and some customs officials in Northern Ireland (serious cases only).

The Office was established in November 2000, is based in Belfast city centre, and has a staff of about 150 people, about 120 of whom work within our investigations teams.

Click here for information about the history of the Office.

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