For complaints about the Australian Federal Police (AFP) you can complain by letter, telephone, fax, in person or online to:
- Any AFP office
- The Commonwealth Ombudsman
- AFP Internal Investigations Division
Again, it is a good idea to talk to your lawyer or local Community Legal Centre first before you make a complaint.
You have the right to complain about the conduct or actions of individual AFP members.
Your complaint may concern:
- Action taken by an AFP officer that involves discourtesy, rudeness or abruptness to you
- Action that arises out of a misunderstanding of the law, of the policy or procedures of the AFP
- Serious ill-treatment by an AFP officer
- Assault by an AFP officer
You should first make your complaint to the AFP, whether the complaint involves allegations of minor or serious misconduct. The complaint will either be dealt with by AFP's Workplace Resolution Program through a conciliation process, or the AFP Internal Investigations Division. This process is monitored by the Ombudsman's Office.
In every case, a report detailing the actions taken by Internal Investigations must be forwarded to the Ombudsman's office for independent scrutiny. If the Ombudsman is not satisfied with the AFP's investigation of your complaint, he or she can ask the AFP to reconsider its recommendations, require Internal Investigations to investigate further, or conduct his or her own investigation.
While you are entitled to complain to the Ombudsman at any time, he or she will usually only intervene in the matter if you have already raised the complaint with the AFP directly. If you are being detained, you have the right to be provided with facilities to make a complaint to the Ombudsman.
If you have a grievance, you should make the complaint as soon as possible, within one year of the incident.