The IPCC is an independent body responsible for ensuring that the police complaints system in England and Wales works effectively and fairly. The IPCC is directly involved in investigating the most serious cases, which make up a small proportion of cases overall. The remainder of cases are subject to investigation by the local police force involved or to an informal procedure called local resolution carried out by the police.
However, in order to ensure that independent oversight extends to all parts of the police complaints system, complainants whose cases are dealt with by the police have a right of appeal to the IPCC.
The IPCC also has a statutory responsible for the guardianship of the police complaints system. As part of that guardianship role, the IPCC analyses and publishes complaints statistics detailing the number and type of complaints made by members of the public and their outcomes. These reports are published on the IPCC's website.