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Frequently Asked Questions


Q.  Who can make a complaint under the Police Act?


A.  Anyone who is 18 years of age and over and has been directly affected by the conduct of a municipal police officer, a chief of a municipal police service, an instructing officer of the Atlantic Police Academy, the Director of the Atlantic Police Academy or a UPEI security police officer can make a complaint.  A parent or guardian may file a complaint on behalf of a person who is under the age of 18.  Where the person directly affected by the conduct is mentally incompetent, a parent or guardian may make a compliant on the person's behalf.


Q.  Can I make a complaint against an RCMP officer?

A.  No, the Prince Edward Island Police Act complaints process does not apply to the RCMP.  As a national entity, there is a separate process for addressing complaints about members of the RCMP. 

If the complaint is against the RCMP, you can make it at any RCMP Detachment in Canada.  If you are uncomfortable making the complaint at an RCMP office, or if you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the RCMP, you can contact the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP.  The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP is an independent agency created by Parliament to ensure that public complaints made about the conduct of RCMP members are examined fairly and impartially.

Anyone with concerns about the conduct of an RCMP member can call 1-800-665-6878.  For more information on the complaints process contact Civilian Review and Complaints Commission for the RCMP.

Q.  What type of behaviour can be the basis of a complaint filed under the Police Act?

A.  If you have reasonable grounds for believing the conduct of a municipal police officer, chief of a municipal police service, instructing officer, the Director of the Atlantic Police Academy or a UPEI security police officer goes against the Code of Professional Conduct and Discipline, you may file a complaint.


Q.  How do I resolve a complaint?

A.  To resolve a complaint about a municipal police officer, you can speak with the police officer's supervisor to try to resolve the issue.  Another option is to make a written complaint under the Police Act.  You must write out your complaint, sign it and send the complaint to the chief of the police service where the officer works.  You must ensure the complaint is received by the chief of the police service within six months of the incident.  There are three municipal police services on Prince Edward Island:  Charlottetown, Summerside and Kensington. The chief will review your complaint and attempt to resolve it. 

To resolve a complaint about a chief of a municipal police service, you can contact the chief administrator of the municipality where the chief works to try to resolve the issue.  Another option is to make a written complaint under the Police Act.  To do so, send your complaint to the Manager, Office of the Police Commissioner.  You must write out your complaint, sign it and ensure the complaint is received be the Manager, Office of the Police Commissioner, within six months of the incident.

To resolve a complaint about an instructing officer, you can speak with the instructing officer's supervisor to try to resolve the issue.  Another option is to make a written complaint under the Police ActYou must write out your complaint, sign it and send the complaint to the Director, Atlantic Police Academy within six months of the incident.  The Director will review your complaint and attempt to resolve it.

To resolve a complaint about the Director of the Atlantic Police Academy, you can contact the President of Holland College to try to resolve your complaint.  Another option is to make a written complaint under the Police Act.  To do so, send your complaint to the Manager, Office of the Police Commissioner.  You must write out your complaint, sign it and ensure the complaint is received be the Manager, Office of the Police Commissioner, within six months of the incident. 

To resolve a complaint about a UPEI security police officer, you can speak with the security officer's employer.  Another option is to make a written complaint under the Police Act.  To do so, send your complaint to the Manager, Office of the Police Commissioner.  You must write out your complaint, sign it and ensure the complaint is received by the Manager, Office of the Police Commissioner, within six months of the incident.  The Manager will review your complaint and attempt to resolve it.

Please note, a complaint under the Police Act must relate to conduct which occurred after the Act was proclaimed on March 13th, 2010.


Q.  What can the person who files the complaint (complainant) against a municipal police officer or an instructing officer of the Atlantic Police Academy expect after filing the complaint?


A.  Please see the Statement of Complaint Procedures and Rights of the Complainant.


Q.  What can the person who is the subject of the complaint (respondent) expect after a complaint is filed?

A.  
Please see the Statement of Complaint Procedures and Rights of the Respondent.


Q.  What can I do if I am not satisfied with the decision about my complaint?

A.  Please see the Request for Review of a Decision section.


Q.  How do I withdraw a complaint?


A.  Please see the Withdrawing a Complaint section.


Q.  Does it cost anything to file a complaint under the Police Act?

A.
  Filing a complaint is a serious matter.  It does not cost anything to file a complaint under the Police Act.  If a complaint requires a hearing before the Police Commissioner, the Police Commissioner may award costs.  Costs may include the legal or other expenses which a complainant or a person subject to a complaint may incur during the process of having a complaint resolved.


Q.  Is my complaint under the Police Act confidential?

A.  The subject of your complaint (respondent) will receive a copy of the complaint.  If your complaint proceeds to a hearing before the Police Commissioner, the hearing will be open to the public unless the Police Commissioner, in accord with the Police Act, decides to close the hearing to the public.  You could be called as a witness at a hearing about your complaint.

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