The Australian Federal Police (including ACT Policing) have increased responsibilities in support of COVID-19 directions.
If you have a complaint about the AFP (including ACT Policing), you should make your complaint directly to the AFP's Professional Standards Unit.
If you are not satisfied with the AFP's response to your complaint, you contact our Office using our complaint form. If you don’t have internet access, you can call us on 02 5119 5518 (option 2).
Our Office, in our role as the Commonwealth Ombudsman, can investigate complaints about ACT Policing. This may include complaints about:
- inadequate investigation
- inappropriate action
- taking too long to act
- failure to record or report a matter
- failure to return property
- providing inappropriate advice.
A summary of increased powers held by ACT Policing during the COVID-19 pandemic is available here.
What we cannot help you with
We will not investigate a complaint if:
- a more appropriate agency can assist
- the matter has been considered by a Minister, or has been before a court or tribunal.
- If we decide to not investigate your complaint we will explain the reasons why.
For an overview of where to take your ACT Policing complaint, please see our factsheet.
See Who else can help for a detailed list of other complaint handling agencies.
Before you make a complaint
Before making a complaint to the Ombudsman, we ask you to first try and resolve the issue with ACT Policing unless you feel uncomfortable or are unable to approach ACT Policing directly. Ombudsman investigations may take more time.
For advice on how to approach an agency, see our guide Resolving the issue yourself.
If the agency doesn’t fix your problem or is taking too long to fix it, you can contact us.
How to get help with making a complaint
If you need support to make a complaint please call us on 02 5119 5518. We will do our best to help you.
You can call us on our dedicated Indigenous number 1800 060 789, or you can use our Indigenous language interpreter service.
If you are a non-English speaking person, we can help through the Translating and Interpreter Service (TIS) on 131 450. You can visit our brochures page for information in many community languages.
If you are hearing, sight or speech impaired, please use the National Relay Service:
- the speak and listen number is 1300 555 727
- for TTY call 133677.
Phone calls to the ACT Ombudsman from the Alexander Maconochie Centre are free.
How to complain
You can make a complaint via our online complaint form or call us on 02 5119 5518 (option 2).
When writing your complaint keep it simple and list the facts. Be as specific as possible about dates, names and other important details. Make sure you include:
- a description of your issue, incident or decision
- dates of events and contact with the ACT Policing
- who was involved including witnesses
- details of telephone conversations or meetings
- reference numbers you received when dealing with the ACT Policing
- evidence such as photographs or medical records
- steps you have already taken to sort out the problem
- what outcome you would like to see as a result of your complaint.
How we have helped
A woman complained she had been spoken to inappropriately during an interaction with ACT Policing. She was especially concerned that her interaction was described as a ‘tantrum’. Our investigator obtained a recording of the interaction and found that the word used was ‘tangent’. The complainant was relieved and grateful for the explanation provided.