Posted: Tuesday 4 April 2017

Commissioner directs police to make 12 recommendations following review of complaints from man with mental health issues


The Police Investigations & Review Commissioner (PIRC) has issued 12 recommendations in a complaint handling review (CHR) published today.

Among the recommendations, Police Scotland have been advised to send a further response to the applicant to explain whether an Inspector deliberately misled the applicant and another person by advising there was "nothing to worry about" when he intended to charge the applicant for an offence.

Another recommendation is for further statements to be obtained from two Constables specifically addressing whether or not they gave any consideration to the possibility that the applicant may have suffered a non-visible head injury, and what measures were taken by officers to ensure the applicant's well-being.

In CHR 00037.16 a total of 35 complaints were considered, with 22 dealt with to a reasonable standard while 13 were not.

The complaints in this case arose from two separate incidents, where the applicant was alleged to have committed a breach of section 38 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 - threatening or abusive behaviour - on each occasion.

Two reconsideration directions were also issued to Police Scotland in relation to two of the complaints. They must now appoint a person, who has had no previous involvement in dealing with the complaints, to undertake a re-assessment of both of them.

In complaint 10 it was stated that the arresting officers did not follow the provisions of the relevant legislation or police procedures in relation to mental health.

In complaint 21 it was stated that officers based at a police station failed to provide the applicant with an Appropriate Adult; necessary to assist people with a mental disorder who come into contact with police.

Of those complaints handled to a reasonable standard, they included a complaint that a constable took too long to investigate an allegation against the applicant. Another, was that the applicant was unjustifiably arrested.

In another CHR (00503.16) published today, the complaint arose from an incident in which the applicant reported that his neighbour was in breach of bail conditions.

The complaint recorded that a police officer "acted inappropriately" and was "unprofessional".

It was found the complaint was not dealt with to a reasonable standard. A reconsideration direction was issued and a learning point was identified for the officers involved in handling the complaint.  

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