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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/00240/16
    Police Body:
    Report, Police Scotland
    Date:
    19 December 2016
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    240.16 The complaints in this case arose from the applicant's arrest and detention in police custody. Three complaints were reviewed, namely: 1) that an officer made remarks which the applicant found offensive; 2) that it was decided the applicant should be placed in harm prevention clothing whilst in custody, which had not happened previously; and, 3) that the applicant's clothing was removed against his will without a satisfactory explanation. The review found that two of the complaints were 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/00248/16
    Police Body:
    Report, Police Scotland
    Date:
    19 December 2016
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    248.16 The complaints in this case arose from the applicant's arrest and detention following a road traffic incident. Six complaints were reviewed, namely: 1) that the applicant was unnecessarily arrested; 2) that the applicant's cell was unsuitable for his disability; 3) that the applicant did not receive legal representation that he requested; 4) that the applicant was detained unnecessarily until 10pm; 5) that the applicant was not allowed facilities to take nutrients or medication; and, 6) that police officers did not listen to the applicant's version of events. The review found that three of the complaints were dealt with to a reasonable standard and three were not. Three recommendations were made.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00354/16
    Police Body:
    Report, Police Scotland
    Date:
    19 December 2016
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    354.16 The complaint in this case arose when officers attended at the applicant's address in connection with a noise complaint. One complaint was reviewed, namely that an officer acted in an aggressive and threatening manner. The review found that the complaint was not dealt with to a reasonable standard. One recommendation was made.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00404/16
    Police Body:
    Report, Police Scotland
    Date:
    12 December 2016
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    404/16. The complaints in this case arose from the applicant's detention under Section 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Five complaints were reviewed, namely: 1. that Constable A acted in an aggressive manner and did not communicate in a reasonable manner thus abusing his police powers; 2. that Sergeant E acted in an aggressive manner and did not communicate in a reasonable manner thus abusing his police powers; 3. that Inspector F acted in an intimidating and controlling manner whilst he took the applicant's complaint and that he was kept in the police station until 2am without a break; 4. that the applicant's vehicle was seized when offices did not have grounds for doing so; and 5. that the applicant's mobile phone was seized when officers did not have grounds for doing so. The review found that four of the complaints were dealt with to a reasonable standard and one was not. One recommendation was made in this connection.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00629/15
    Police Body:
    Report, Police Scotland
    Date:
    12 December 2016
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    629/15. The complaints in this case arose after the applicant reported damage to an access road at his property (which he considered to be an act of vandalism). Eight complaints were reviewed, namely: 1. that the length of time taken to investigate a reported vandalism was unreasonable; 2. that the crime category was recorded as malicious mischief and not vandalism; 3. that the overall standard of the enquiry was inadequate; 4. that the standard of the enquiry was inadequate in relation to named witnesses; 5. that an officer concluded there was insufficient evidence that a crime had been committed; 6. that no response was provided to multiple letters sent by the applicant; 7. that no explanation was provided for an officer being unable to contact the applicant by phone; and 8. that Police Scotland failed to provide a substantive response to questions raised by the applicant. The review found that six of the complaints were dealt with to a reasonable standard and two were not. Two recommendations were made.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00096/16
    Police Body:
    Report, Police Scotland
    Date:
    5 December 2016
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    96/16. The complaints in this case arose from the applicant’s arrest for threatening and abusive behaviour. Six complaints were considered: 1. that police officers failed to tell the applicant the reason for his arrest; 2. that an officer referred to the “death of a child” suffered by the applicant’s partner, and referred to the applicant’s neighbour in an over-familiar way; 3. that the same officer, on two separate occasions, made reference to hoping that the applicant’s partner had “calmed down” otherwise she could be arrested, which the applicant found threatening; 4. that officers failed to take a statement from the applicant’s daughter when advised that she had witnessed the material incident; 5. that, when advised that the applicant’s daughter could provide a witness statement, an officer remarked that he was “not interested” and displayed an intimidating attitude in front of the applicant’s partner and daughter; and 6. that the applicant was unhappy with the way in which he was spoken to and treated by the arresting officers throughout the incident. The review found that four complaints were dealt with to a reasonable standard while the remaining two complaints were not. Two recommendations were made in this connection.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00373/16
    Police Body:
    Report, Police Scotland
    Date:
    5 December 2016
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    373/16. The complaints in this case arose from police attendance at the applicant’s home address. Four complaints were reviewed, namely: 1) that an officer handcuffed the applicant to the rear deliberately tightly, aggravating a shoulder injury and did not move the handcuffs when the applicant expressed he was in pain; 2) that an officer’s manner was belligerent, disrespectful and unprofessional; 3) that the applicant’s flat was visually searched without his consent; and 4) that an officer alleged the applicant was drunk when consuming alcohol is against his religion. The review found that three of the complaints were dealt with to a reasonable standard and one was not. Two recommendations were made in this connection
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00184/16
    Police Body:
    Report, Police Scotland
    Date:
    28 November 2016
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    184/16. The complaints in this case arose from an allegation made by the applicant that her son had been assaulted at school by a playground assistant. Five complaints were considered: 1. that officers did not attend at the applicant's home immediately in response to her initial call 2. that the applicant did not receive any updates from the investigating officers within 12 days of them attending at her home 3. that Police Scotland failed to interview and take statements from the applicant or her children about the incident 4. that Police Scotland failed to investigate the applicant's allegation that a member of school staff had assaulted her son; and 5. that Police Scotland shared false information in relation to the applicant's ability to home educate her children with other agencies. It was found that four of the applicant's complaints were dealt with to a reasonable standard whilst the remaining complaint was not. No recommendations were made in this connection, however a learning point for Police Scotland has been noted.
  • Title:
    Report, Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00191/16
    Police Body:
    Report, Police Scotland
    Date:
    28 November 2016
    Download:
    Download Report, Police Scotland
    191.16 The complaint in this case arose from an incident in which the applicant was spoken to by a police officer who had stopped his car. One complaint was reviewed, namely that the police officer was uncivil to the applicant. The review found that the complaint had not been dealt with to a reasonable standard. A reconsideration direction was issued in this connection.
  • Title:
    Report, Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00214/16
    Police Body:
    Police Scotland, Report
    Date:
    28 November 2016
    Download:
    Download Report, Police Scotland
    214.16 The complaints in this case arose from two separate incidents in which the applicant's car was stopped by police officers. Ten complaints were reviewed, namely: (1) that an officer accused him of speeding but later dropped this; (2) that an officer alleged that the applicant's light was not working which was untrue; (3) that the applicant was unnecessarily subjected to a search; (4) that an officer had an aggressive attitude; (5) that an officer threatened to arrest the applicant; (6) that an officer kept the applicant standing in the cold for over an hour; (7) that an officer mocked the applicant; that an officer broke the bonnet release cable of the applicant's car; (9) that an officer shouted at the applicant; and(10) that an officer questioned the applicant's wife when she was not the driver of the car. The review found that five of the complaints were dealt with to a reasonable standard and five were not. Six recommendations were made and a learning point was identified.