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Reviews


The Police Investigations & Review Commissioner carries out independent review of the way in which police bodies operating in Scotland deal with complaints made by members of the public.

The Commissioner often publishes reports, known as Complaint Handling Reviews, in anonymised form. This is to provide assurance to the public that there is robust and independent oversight of police complaints handling in Scotland. On occasion a press release to highlight in the media an issue arising from a CHR may be issued, these can be found in the press centre.

Here you will find Complaint Handling Reviews published by the Commissioner.  All reviews are completely anonymised prior to publication. 

Click here to access reviews carried out under the Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland.

  • Title:
    Reports, Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00249/16
    Police Body:
    Reports, Police Scotland
    Date:
    14 August 2017
    Download:
    Download Reports, Police Scotland
    249.16 The complaints in this case arose from the applicant being denied a Taxi Driver's Licence. Four complaints were considered: 1. that Police Scotland offered advice to a potential employer of the applicant's on the basis of intelligence which had not been investigated; 2. that the applicant had no opportunity to challenge the accuracy of the intelligence held; 3. that no procedure or guidance was available to officers of Police Scotland to enable them to make consistent and fair decisions; and 4. that Police Scotland's expression of this opinion, without the applicant being allowed to know the substance of the intelligence, was a violation of the applicant's human rights. The review found that one complaint was dealt with to a reasonable standard while the other three complaints were not. Two recommendations were made in this connection.
  • Title:
    Reports, Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00395/16
    Police Body:
    Reports, Police Scotland
    Date:
    14 August 2017
    Download:
    Download Reports, Police Scotland
    395.16 The complaints in this case arose from correspondence sent by the applicant to senior officers of Police Scotland. Complaints about "senior officers" of Police Scotland, namely those who are ranked assistant chief constable, deputy chief constable or chief constable, are dealt with by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) rather than Police Scotland. The SPA's handling of the following complaints was reviewed by the PIRC: 1. that the Deputy Chief Constable ("the DCC") was negligent in passing a letter in which the applicant raised concerns about a particular department to the same department to deal with; 2. that the DCC was negligent in dismissing the applicant's claims and not dealing with the points raised in his letter about the department; and 3. that the Chief Constable was negligent in passing the applicant's letter of complaint about the DCC to the DCC to deal with. The review found that one complaint was handled by the SPA to a reasonable standard while the remaining two complaints were not. The SPA was directed to reconsider those two complaints.
  • Title:
    Reports, Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00550/16
    Police Body:
    Reports, Police Scotland
    Date:
    14 August 2017
    Download:
    Download Reports, Police Scotland
    550.16 The complaints in this case arose from the theft of property from the applicant's home address. Two complaints were considered, namely: 1. that, despite several requests, an officer failed to return goods belonging to the applicant; and 2. that an officer would not speak with the applicant at the front desk during her detention at the police office. The review found that both complaints were handled to a reasonable standard. No recommendations were made in this connection.
  • Title:
    Reports, Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00087/17
    Police Body:
    Reports, Police Scotland
    Date:
    14 August 2017
    Download:
    Download Reports, Police Scotland
    087.17 The complaints in this case arose from an investigation conducted into the applicant for alleged Data Protection offences. A single complaint was considered, namely that Police Scotland had unlawfully delayed the investigation and subsequent report to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) in respect of the allegations made against him. The review found that the complaint was dealt with to a reasonable standard. No recommendations were made.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00017/17
    Police Body:
    Reports, Police Scotland
    Date:
    7 August 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    017.17 The complaints in this case arose from the seizure of the applicant's vehicle following a fatal road traffic collision. Seven complaints were reviewed, namely: 1. That there was a lack of information, support, and liaison with the applicant following the collision; 2. That the driver of the vehicle was not provided with any support, information, or liaison from the police following the collision; 3. That the applicant was provided with different versions of police procedures relating to the time the vehicle was retained and the costs involved; 4. That it took five days before the vehicle was examined and a further three days to release the vehicle; 5. That the applicant was not able to speak with an officer over the rank of Inspector regarding her concerns; 6. That the procedures regarding the release of the vehicle were unclear and the applicant felt pressure to sign a waiver related to the process; and 7. That an Inspector provided inaccurate information regarding how she should proceed with a civil claim. The review found that four of the complaints were dealt with to a reasonable standard and three were not. Four recommendations were made.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00064/17
    Police Body:
    Report, Police Scotland
    Date:
    7 August 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    064.17 The complaint in this case arose from the police investigation into an allegation that the applicant's daughter had been subjected to threatening and abusive behaviour whilst within a primary school playground. One complaint was reviewed, namely that Police Scotland failed to record that a crime had occurred. The review found that the complaint was dealt with to a reasonable standard. No recommendation was made.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00084/17
    Police Body:
    Report, Police Scotland
    Date:
    7 August 2017
    Download:
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    084.17 The applicant complained that the time taken by Police Scotland to deal with a previous complaint raised by the applicant was excessive. The review found that the complaint was not dealt with to a reasonable standard. One recommendation was made in this connection.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    00141/17
    Police Body:
    Report, Police Scotland
    Date:
    7 August 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    141.17 The complaints in this case arose from the applicant being stopped by police officers in connection with an alleged road traffic offence. Three complaints were reviewed, namely: 1) That officers invented the reason for stopping the applicant and had no legal right to do so; 2) That one of the officers, when provided with the name of an insurance broker stated “that’s your broker, no your insurer”; and 3) That an officer expected the applicant to do his work for him by providing documents at the police station. The review found that all of the complaints were dealt with to a reasonable standard. No further action is required.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00585/15
    Police Body:
    Report, Police Scotland
    Date:
    7 August 2017
    Download:
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    585.15 The complaints in this case arose from the applicant's concerns over a lack of investigation into "suspicious" deaths within a specific NHS Board area. Six complaints were reviewed, namely: 1. that Police Scotland obtained no independent evidence during its review of the reported incidents; 2. that the evidence provided by Police Scotland did not enable prosecutors to make a valid decision and was not in accordance with prosecution principles; 3. that Police Scotland's review was only a paper exercise; 4. that Police Scotland mistakenly looked only for criminal intent and not criminal negligence; 5. that Police Scotland did not follow the Scottish Work-Related Deaths Protocol; and 6. that Police Scotland did not use the Enforcement Management Model. It was found that one complaint was dealt with to a reasonable standard and five were not. Five recommendations were made in this connection.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00559/16
    Police Body:
    Reports, Police Scotland
    Date:
    31 July 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    559.16 The complaints in this case arose from the applicant's detention and arrest in connection with an alleged offence. Three complaints were reviewed, namely: 1. That the applicant was arrested despite contradictory witness statements; 2. That the applicant requested that an officer speak with his son but this request was refused; and 3. That an officer did nothing when the applicant told her he had been assaulted and abused and said it was not her job. The review found that one of the complaints was dealt with to a reasonable standard and two were not. One recommendation has been made.