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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/00084/17
    Police Body:
    Report, Police Scotland
    Date:
    7 August 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    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:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    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.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00573/16
    Police Body:
    Reports, Police Scotland
    Date:
    31 July 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    573.16 The complaints in this case arose from an allegation made by the applicant of a potential fraud. Eighteen complaints were considered: 1. that the applicant's complex fraud allegation was allocated to an officer who was on sick leave and was not then reallocated; 2. that the investigating officer advised the applicant he had "no time" to investigate her allegations however attended to personal activities whilst on duty; 3. that the investigating officer was rude to the applicant during a meeting in her home; 4. that the investigating officer took sick leave to recover from a shoulder injury, however the applicant did not perceive him to be suffering from such an injury; 5. that the applicant requested the investigation to be reallocated to another officer, but was told this would take too long; 6. that, during a telephone call, the investigating officer commented that another officer may have thrown documentary evidence "in the bin"; 7. that during the same phone call the investigating officer was rude to the applicant; 8. that Police Scotland's investigation into the applicant's allegation of fraud had not progressed following her initial complaints about the investigation; 9. that during a second telephone call the investigating officer was rude to the applicant, would not listen to her and was dismissive; 10. that Police Scotland made no contact with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) however told the applicant that they had done so; 11. that officers had "not prepared" for a pre-arranged meeting with the applicant at a Police Office, and failed to take any notes or record any details during the meeting; 12. that during the same meeting, inappropriate behaviour attributed to a junior officer was not addressed by a more senior officer; 13. that officers of Police Scotland failed to act on lines of enquiry suggested by the applicant; 14. that officers advised the applicant they would liaise with a Procurator Fiscal to discuss the investigation, however the applicant considered this unnecessary as a different Procurator Fiscal had already provided the police with the advice being sought; 15. that officers of Police Scotland failed to grasp that the applicant's allegations constituted a crime; 16. that officers of Police Scotland still refuse to investigate the applicant's missing money; 17. that two Inspectors refused to meet with the applicant or become involved in her case; and 18. that the investigating officer made arithmetical errors during the investigation. The review found that twelve complaints were dealt with to a reasonable standard while the remaining six complaints were not. Six recommendations were made in this connection. A learning point was also issued.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00514/16
    Police Body:
    Reports, Police Scotland
    Date:
    24 July 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    514.16 The complaints in this case arose from an incident in which the applicant's son's car was stolen after Police Scotland had been informed that the keys had been taken in an earlier burglary. Three complaints were reviewed, namely: 1. that Police Scotland failed to timeously allocate resources following the report that the car keys had been stolen; 2. that a call handler was rude to the applicant's wife; 3. that Police Scotland kept the car for policing purposes and was therefore liable for the costs incurred in this connection. The review found that one of the complaints was dealt with to a reasonable standard while two were not. Two recommendations were made in this connection. A learning point was also identified.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00611/16
    Police Body:
    Reports, Police Scotland
    Date:
    24 July 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    611.16 The complaints in this case arose from the applicant's detention and arrest for an alleged breach of the Communications Act 2003. Three complaints were considered: 1. that officers were hostile to the applicant and defensive of the individual reporting the allegations; 2. that officers did not carry out a proper enquiry and in particular did not seize a computer belonging to the reporter; and 3. that the officers had a conflict of interest as the applicant believes they knew the reporter personally. The review found that two complaints were dealt with to a reasonable standard while the remaining complaint was not. A single recommendation was made in this connection.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00029/17
    Police Body:
    Reports, Police Scotland
    Date:
    17 July 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    029.17 The complaints in this case arose from the applicant's arrest in connection with an alleged offence. Two complaints were reviewed, namely: 1) that an officer was aggressive and cheeky to the applicant and lied to him on a few occasions; and, 2) that an unauthorised search of the applicant's flat took place while he was being detained. The review found that one of the complaints was dealt with to a reasonable standard and one was not. One recommendation was made and a learning point was identified.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00411/16
    Police Body:
    Reports, Police Scotland
    Date:
    17 July 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    411.16 The complaints in this case arose from the police investigation into the applicant's allegation that a social worker had committed a criminal breach of the Data Protection Act. Three complaints were reviewed, namely that: 1) a police officer did not pass all relevant information to the Procurator Fiscal; 2) a police officer did not keep the applicant updated on the progress of the investigation; and 3) Police Scotland lost evidence provided by the applicant. The review found that one of the complaints was dealt with to a reasonable standard while the other two were not. Two recommendations were made in this connection.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00447/16
    Police Body:
    Reports, Police Scotland
    Date:
    17 July 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    447.16 The complaints in this case arose from the applicant's detention by officers of Police Scotland. Seven complaints were considered, namely: 1. that the officers who detained the applicant did not afford her the opportunity to get changed and insisted that they would have to accompany her at all times; 2. that the officers who handcuffed her were rough when doing so; 3. that the applicant was asked for her personal details by the Custody Sergeant at the charge bar despite already having provided them to the officer who detained her; 4. that when being strip-searched the applicant's clothes were thrown on the floor; 5. that the applicant suffered a panic attack but a female custody officer took no action; 6. that the applicant was banging on the cell door trying to attract attention when the Custody Sergeant told her to "stop whinging"; and 7. that the police officers "wouldn't listen" to the applicant's story on the night she was arrested. The review found that three complaints were dealt with to a reasonable standard while the remaining four complaints were not. Three recommendations and a learning point were made in this connection.