Got a question? Ask Lawmail

Send your questions to Lawmail

Can't find the info you are looking for?Got a problem you can’t solve?

If you're under 25, or an adult asking on behalf of a person under 18, you can send your questions to Lawmail and we will email an answer to you in under 10 days. Urgent matters are dealt with more quickly.

Go to Lawmail. It’s free and confidential.

All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

Complaints about Police


I think the police have treated me unfairly –can I make a complaint?

Although the police in the Northern Territory have special powers, there are also rules they have to follow when they are using them.  If you think police have treated you unfairly or have broken their own rules, you can make a complaint about them.  

Different things can happen if you make a complaint. For example the authorities you contact might just decide to talk about the complaint with you, or they may decide to investigate or discipline the officer. In other words, it doesn’t always happen but police can get in trouble with the law too.

You might want to complain about a police officer if they:

  • intimidated you
  • were unreasonable or unfair
  • hurt you
  • damaged your stuff
  • asked for a bribe
  • did something else that was inappropriate or improper
  • discriminated against you:

If you feel that the police discriminated against you, for example because of your age, race, sexuality, gender identity, religion or other personal characteristic, you may be able to make a complaint to an anti-discrimination body in your state or territory.  If this has happened to you, please send us a Lawmail and we can give you advice about the best organisation to make your complaint to.


What should I include in my complaint?

If you want to make a complaint about the police, it’s a good idea to give as much information as possible so that the person looking at your complaint can look into what has happened.  You don’t have to give your name, but if you want a response, then it’s a good idea to include it.  Things you should include in your complaint are things like:

  • your name and contact details
  • where the incident happened
  • what time it was
  • the name of the officer who was involved
  • the station the officer was from (if you know it)
  • names of any witnesses that were there
  • what happened – try to give as much detail as possible
  • any documents you have to back up your complaint
  • what you want from the complaint – an apology, reimbursement for damage etc

You should make sure you sign your complaint if you are putting it in writing, and keep a copy of it. If you are sending it by email, you should keep a copy, for example by taking a screenshot on your phone or computer. 

How do I make a complaint?

You can make a complaint about NT Police in a couple of ways:

  • you can make a formal complaint online at

  • calling 13 14 44
  • going to your local police station
  • telling a police officer

I’ve made a complaint to the NT police but I’m not happy with the result.  What can I do?

If you are not happy with the response from the police, you can also make a complaint to the NT Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is separate from the NT Police and can review police complaints.  
You can find out more about making a complaint to the NT Ombudsman at

  Insert text regarding ALL STATES here.
  You can choose to insert either:
     · Content that directly applies to ALL STATES of Australia.
     · A footnote that will be seen below the existing content of each state.