About us


On 1 April 2013, the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 brought together Scotland's eight police services, the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency and the Scottish Police Services Authority into the single Police Scotland.


At the same time, the remit of the Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland (PCCS) expanded to include investigations into the most serious incidents involving the police. To mark this change, the PCCS was renamed the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC).

The Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC) is an independent organisation not connected to the police.  Our service is free and impartial. 

The role of the PIRC is to undertake independent investigations into the most serious incidents involving the police and to provide independent scrutiny of the way police bodies operating in Scotland respond to complaints from the public. The Commissioner employs around 50 staff. Find out more about what we do.

The post of the Commissioner was first established in 2007 under the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006 ('the Act') and was amended by the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012.  It is a condition of the Commissioner's appointment that they must not be, or have been, a member of specific police bodies. 

The PIRC's role is to increase public confidence in policing bodies in Scotland and to operate in a professional, open and accountable way. We publish a range of information about how the organisation is run.  View our corporate information. 

Find out more about the kind of investigations the PIRC undertakes
Find out more about how we review the way the police handle complaints.