Who We Are
The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) provides ways to voice your concerns about the conduct of municipal police officers or departments in British Columbia (BC). We are an impartial agency—independent of police and government—that oversees municipal police misconduct complaints and investigations in 15 jurisdictions. While the police investigate complaints about misconduct, the OPCC adds accountability and transparency by ensuring investigations are thorough and fair. We are dedicated to ensuring complaints are handled with all parties in mind as we work with both the public and the police to find solutions. We are committed to continuously improving the BC municipal police complaint process.
What We Do
We are responsible for ensuring that professional and thorough practices are used during the complaint process investigation.
We work to:
- Ensure policing accountability.
- Provide an easy way for you to register concerns about municipal police officers or departments.
- Actively oversee complaints and investigations about misconduct involving municipal police and special constables.
- Monitor the administration of discipline and proceedings under the BC Police Act and ensure the legislation’s purposes are met.
- Make recommendations to Police Boards and government for improvements to how police services are delivered in BC, recommending policy creation or changes.
- Suggest improvements to the Police Act.
- Keep records of all municipal police complaints and Police Act investigations and results.
- Compile statistical information and report regularly to the public.
Who We Serve
We inform, advise, and assist everyone involved in the complaint process.
When We Receive a Complaint
Our role is to monitor the process and update participants on the complaint status. We determine the admissibility of all complaints. If they are admissible, we forward them to the identified police department to investigate.
We can also:
- Independently order an investigation.
- Identify steps to take if an investigation needs more follow-up.
- Direct a complaint investigation to a different police department; not the one the complaint is about.
- Designate a Discipline Authority (the person who decides whether misconduct occurred) from a different or external police department.
We work to enhance public confidence in police accountability.
- We review all findings related to police misconduct to ensure they are adequate and appropriate.
- If we disagree with a finding, we can send it to a retired judge to review the decision.
- When appropriate, we can also refer a matter to Crown Counsel for consideration of prosecution.
If appropriate, we encourage people to attempt Complaint Resolution to resolve less serious complaints and allow participants to be involved in the outcome of their complaint. You can read more about alternative dispute resolution processes in our Complaint Resolution brochure.