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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:
    Report- Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00340/16
    Police Body:
    Police Scotland, Report
    Date:
    23 May 2017
    Download:
    Download Report- Police Scotland
    340.16 The complaints in this case arose from the applicant's arrest in May 2014. Eleven complaints were reviewed, namely: 1. that police officers were rude and swore at the applicant, calling him a 'wimp'; 2. that a police officer used excessive force by pushing the applicant to the chest; 3. that police officers used excessive force by swiping the applicant's legs away causing him to fall; 4. that the applicant was unlawfully arrested; 5. that police officers used excessive force by applying handcuffs too tightly, and deliberately stopping and starting the police vehicle abruptly, causing the applicant to roll around; 6. that, having informed a police officer that he had been punched in the face, no action was taken; 7. that having made a complaint about the police regarding his arrest, the applicant and his mother were assured that relevant CCTV evidence would be secured, which was not the case; 8. that the applicant's complaint about the police was not investigated; 9. that Police Scotland appeared to have no system in place to prevent a failure to investigate his complaint from occurring; 10. that when attending at a police office to request a copy of his complaint statement, the applicant was grabbed by a police officer and manhandled out of an interview room to the front counter; and 11. that in the months after being arrested, police officers came into the bar where he worked on an increasingly frequent basis and appeared to single him out and harass him. The review found that 7 of the complaints were dealt with to a reasonable standard and 4 were not. A reconsideration direction has been issued in this connection.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00474/16
    Police Body:
    Reports, Police Scotland
    Date:
    22 May 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    474.16 The complaint in this case arose from the applicant's endeavours to tackle speeding on the street where he lives. One complaint was reviewed, namely the applicant's dissatisfaction at the lack of police presence and enforcement action. The review found that the complaint was not dealt with to a reasonable standard. One recommendation was made.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00448/16
    Police Body:
    Police Scotland, Report
    Date:
    22 May 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    448.16 The complaints in this case arose from an incident on 25 January 2016 in which the applicant’s husband was struck by their neighbour’s vehicle. Twenty-four complaints were reviewed, namely: 1. that there was no medical follow up by officers following the incident on 25 January 2016; 2. there was a lack of knowledge of the essential elements in proving charges of Section 2 and 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (“the Act”); 3. that relevant charges were not submitted by the officer submitting the report; 4. that relevant charges were not submitted by an Inspector who was instructed to carry out a review of the circumstances; 5. that an officer lacked knowledge of Section 2 of the Act; 6. that an officer did not libel an additional charge of Section 3 of the Act for the applicant’s neighbour blocking in their car; 7. that officers failed to note antecedents in the report to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS); 8. that the letter of complaint was given to the officer completing the report in breach of protocol; 9. that officers failed to carry out follow up checks to ensure there was insurance in place for the applicant’s neighbour’s vehicle; 10. that an officer used phrases like “you know the score” and “I’ve told you repeatedly she can park there if she wants.”; 11. that an officer stood with his thumbs in his body armour and stated “I would welcome a complaint, my supervisor and crime manager are more than happy with what I’ve done, there’s my shoulder number”; 12. that an officer dismissed the applicant’s complaint that her neighbour had parked her car outside the applicant’s home address in an effort to intimidate the applicant and her husband and in contravention of Section 103 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986; 13. that comments made by an officer illustrated his lack of knowledge of parking at lowered kerb regulations; 14. that a hold was not put on the police report before it was forwarded to the COPFS; 15. that an inaccurate report was forwarded to COPFS to meet the police 28 day target for submission of cases; 16. that the applicant’s 999 call was not requested which could have been used to corroborate a further charge of breach of the peace; 17. that an Inspector failed to make contact with the applicant and that a period of 62 days passed between the initial complaint being acknowledged and the first officer to speak with her; 18. that there was not a phone call or email from an Inspector despite his Chief Inspector’s instruction; 19. that an Inspector deliberately misled a senior officer by sending an email saying that good progress was being made when this was not the case; 20. that an Inspector was deliberately misleading in emails and phone calls to the applicant and her husband regarding a subject report; 21. that an Inspector failed to instruct an investigation regarding the applicant’s report of her neighbour’s intimidation and obstruction; 22. that the applicant was not provided with information about who was actually investigating the complaint; 23. that the applicant and her husband were not updated when an urgent response marker was put against their address; and 24. that an officer deliberately misled the applicant and her husband that he had obtained background information from their son and that the enquiry was intelligence led. The review found that eight of the complaints were dealt with to a reasonable standard and sixteen were not. Thirteen recommendations were made.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00593/16
    Police Body:
    Reports, Police Scotland
    Date:
    15 May 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    593.16 The complaints in this case arose from police investigation into the applicant's allegation of assault. Two complaints were reviewed, namely: 1. that the investigating officer did not fully investigate the applicant's complaint of assault which led to the suspect not being charged; and 2. that on the applicant's visit to a police office on 20 September 2016, he felt that the officer he spoke with was rude and discourteous and tried to dissuade him from making a complaint. The review found that one complaint was dealt with to a reasonable standard and one was not. One recommendation was made.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00496/16
    Police Body:
    Reports, Police Scotland
    Date:
    15 May 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    496.16 The complaints in this case arose from the police investigation into the applicant's report that someone had forged his signature to withdraw money from his bank account without his permission. Three complaints were reviewed, namely: 1. That Police Scotland failed to establish the difference between the applicant's signature and the one on the withdrawal slip; 2. That witnesses named by the applicant were not interviewed by the police; and 3. That misleading evidence was submitted to the Lord Advocate. The review found that none of the complaints had been dealt with to a reasonable standard. Four recommendations were made.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotand
    Reference:
    PIRC/00613/16
    Police Body:
    Police Scotland, Report
    Date:
    1 May 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotand
    613.16 The complaints in this case arose from officers attending at the applicant's home address to speak with him in relation to an incident. One complaint was reviewed, namely that an officer was aggressive, dismissed the applicant's point of view and did not adequately explain the reason for the police attendance. The review found that the complaint was not dealt with to a reasonable standard. Two recommendations were made. ** UPDATE - All recommendations have now been implemented **
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotand
    Reference:
    PIRC/00525/16
    Police Body:
    Police Scotland, Report
    Date:
    1 May 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotand
    525.16 The complaints in this case arose from the applicant reporting vehicular obstructions to Police Scotland. Two complaints were considered, namely: 1. that Police Scotland had failed to achieve "results" in relation to building site vehicles blocking pavements and roads at the applicant's address; and 2. that Police Scotland failed to follow up on information passed to them by the applicant regarding a builder verbally abusing one of his neighbours. It was found that both complaints were dealt with to a reasonable standard. No recommendations were made.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotand
    Reference:
    PIRC/00476/16
    Police Body:
    Police Scotland, Report
    Date:
    1 May 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotand
    476.16 The complaint in this case arose from the applicant's report of an alleged sexual assault. One complaint was reviewed, namely that despite the applicant informing officers she was willing to undergo a medical examination, this did not take place. The review found that the complaint was dealt with to a reasonable standard but a recommendation was made. ** UPDATE - All recommendations have now been implemented **
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotand
    Reference:
    PIRC/00402/16
    Police Body:
    Police Scotland, Report
    Date:
    28 April 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotand
    402.16 The single complaint reviewed in this case arose from the response of police officers to the applicant being sworn at by another patron of a public house. The review found that the complaint was dealt with to a reasonable standard. No recommendations were made.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00453/16
    Police Body:
    Police Scotland
    Date:
    25 April 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    453.16 The complaints in this case arose from an incident in which the applicant was strip searched when being taken into police custody. Four complaints were reviewed, namely: 1. that an officer did not identify himself; 2. that an officer acted in an intimidating manner and harassed the applicant; 3. that the applicant was strip searched by officers and the reason for search was not explained to him; and 4. that an officer threw the applicant's shoes on to the floor whilst stating "two AK47's". The review found that two complaints were dealt with to a reasonable standard while two were not. Two recommendations were made in this connection. A learning point was also identified. ** UPDATE - All recommendations have now been implemented **