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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/00546/16
    Police Body:
    Police Scotland
    Date:
    24 April 2017
    Download:
    Download Reports - Police Scotland
    546.16 The complaints in this case arose from the applicant’s detention in connection with a domestic incident. Five complaints were reviewed, namely: 1. that officers treated the applicant as a suspect rather than a victim because of his gender; 2. that Police Scotland failed to inform the applicant he had been reported to the Procurator Fiscal; 3. that officers failed to act upon admissions of assault against the applicant made by his ex-partner in her statement to police; 4. that officers failed to deal with the applicant's allegation that his ex-partner had stolen his games console; 5. that police officers forced the applicant to return a motor vehicle to his ex-partner against his will. The review found that three of the complaints were dealt with to a reasonable standard and two were not. One recommendation was made. ** UPDATE - All recommendations have now been implemented **
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00506/16
    Police Body:
    Police Scotland
    Date:
    11 April 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    506.16 The complaint in this case arose from Police Scotland's decision to refuse the applicant's firearms certificate application. One complaint was reviewed, namely that the applicant was unhappy with the information provided to him by an Inspector during a meeting in November 2015. The review found that the complaint was not dealt with to a reasonable standard. One recommendation was made in this connection. ** UPDATE - All recommendations have now been implemented **
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00503/16
    Police Body:
    Police Scotland
    Date:
    4 April 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    The complaint in this case arose from an incident in which the applicant reported that his neighbour was in breach of bail conditions. The complaint recorded was that a police officer "acted inappropriately" and was "unprofessional". The review found that the complaint was not dealt with to a reasonable standard. A reconsideration direction was issued and a learning point was identified.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00037/16
    Police Body:
    Police Scotland
    Date:
    4 April 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    00037.16 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 on each occasion. 35 complaints were considered, namely: 1. that Constable E failed to include the time and date on a calling card delivered to the applicant's address; 2. that Constable E "ordered" the applicant not to have any correspondence with members of Company YY; 3. that Constable E failed to respond to the applicant's correspondence or make contact with the applicant during February 2016; 4. that Constable E took too long to investigate an allegation against the applicant (Police Incident XX); 5. that Inspector J lied about the reason for his visit to the applicant's home on 8 March 2016, and thus failed to adequately explain the purpose of noting a statement from the applicant; 6. that Inspector J failed to take a statement from the applicant regarding the incident on 18 January 2016; 7. that Inspector J did not investigate the applicant's allegation of assault; 8. that Inspector J did not sufficiently investigate an allegation against the applicant (Police Incident XX); 9. that the applicant was unjustifiably arrested under section 38 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 on 9 March 2016; 10. that the arresting officers did not follow the provisions of the relevant legislation or police procedures in relation to mental health; 11. that the arresting officers did not enquire after the applicant's welfare, despite being aware of his mental ill health; 12. that the arresting officers used unreasonable force on the applicant and refused to loosen his handcuffs; 13. that the arresting officers did not monitor the applicant, check his condition or apply first aid on route to the custody office at Police Office RR; 14. that the applicant was not provided with adequate clothing to keep warm in the police van or in the custody cell; 15. that the arresting officers handed the applicant over to different officers in a police van, without first giving a sufficient briefing on the applicant's condition; 16. that the applicant was not taken to see a doctor following his arrest, and was lied to by the arresting officers about this; 17. that one of the arresting officers lit a cigarette beside the police car, which the applicant found inappropriate; 18. that the arresting officers lied to the applicant by telling him that he would not be charged, but then improperly charged him; 19. that officers at Police Office RR "dumped" the applicant on the ground and "dragged" him across the concrete floor; 20. that an officer behind the counter at Police Office RR told the applicant that he could not see a doctor; 21. that officers at Police Office RR failed to provide the applicant with an Appropriate Adult; 22. that a sergeant at Police Office RR said "here are your rights", and dropped the letter of rights on the floor; 23. that an officer at Police Office RR did not provide the applicant with his reading glasses or a large-print version of the letter of rights, despite this being available; 24. that an officer at Police Office RR told the applicant that he may need to remove his trousers; 25. that officers at Police Office RR restrained the applicant unnecessarily when taking him to see the nurse; 26. that an officer at Police Office RR displayed bias against people with mental health conditions; 27. that officers did not submit a concern report about the applicant, and nor did they notify the local authority or the Mental Welfare Commission; 28. that there was a conflict of interests in Inspector J investigating the applicant's original complaints at same time as progressing a charge against him; 29. that Inspector J, Temporary Chief Inspector L, Inspector H and Chief Inspector AA each contributed to unacceptable delays in the applicant's complaints being investigated and responded to; 30. that Temporary Superintendent G and Temporary Chief Inspector L failed without reason to provide the applicant with information regarding the charges against him; 31. that Inspector J did not send the applicant's statement regarding the incident on 18 January 2016 to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), despite telling the applicant that he would do so; 32. that Inspector H did not provide the applicant with documentary evidence to support her assertion that the applicant's statement had been included with the standard prosecution report sent to the COPFS; 33. that Inspector H failed to inform the applicant that she had asked the COPFS to review the standard prosecution report; 34. that there was a conflict of interests in Inspector H investigating complaints when she herself was the subject of complaints made by the applicant; and 35. that Inspector H failed to answer the applicant's queries regarding why he waited for a number of months yet heard nothing about the charges made against him. The review found that 22 complaints were dealt with to a reasonable standard while thirteen complaints were not. Two reconsideration directions were given and twelve recommendations were made.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00482/16
    Police Body:
    Police Scotland
    Date:
    27 March 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    482.16 The complaints in this case arose from the applicant being given a warning by an officer of Police Scotland in relation to a road traffic matter. The following six complaints were considered: 1. that the officer knowingly wrote a false statement about the applicant in his notebook; 2. that the officer asked the applicant to sign his notebook but did not explain why; 3. that the officer wrote a second false statement in his notebook, specifically that the applicant refused to sign the notebook; 4. that the officer neglected to accurately record the incident; 5. that the applicant was stopped unjustifiably and solely due to his identity, which he perceived as harassment; and 6. that writing falsehoods seemed "second nature" to the officer. The review found that all six of the applicant's complaints were dealt with to a reasonable standard. No recommendations were made.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00469/16
    Police Body:
    Police Scotland
    Date:
    27 March 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    469.16 The complaint in this case arose from the applicant’s involvement in a road traffic collision. One complaint was reviewed, namely, that the attending officer wrote down his own statement and did not ask what had happened, and did not note statements from people at the scene of the crash. The review found that the complaint was not dealt with to a reasonable standard. One recommendation was made.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00455/16
    Police Body:
    Police Scotland
    Date:
    27 March 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    455.16 The complaints in this case arose from the applicant's arrest during an incident on 7 June 2016. Two complaints were reviewed, namely: 1) that the applicant was unlawfully arrested; and, 2) that police officers treated him in a way that made him feel harassed, distressed and alarmed. The review found that neither complaint was dealt with to a reasonable standard. A reconsideration direction was issued in this connection.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00454/16
    Police Body:
    Police Scotland
    Date:
    27 March 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    454.16 The complaints in this case arose after police officers stopped the applicant's vehicle in order to speak to him about his manner of driving. Nine complaints were reviewed, namely: 1) that during an incident on 7 June 2016, the officers involved did not identify themselves as police officers; 2) that a police officer pulled the applicant from his vehicle without any explanation; 3) that the officer was swearing; 4) that the officer jumped on the applicant's back while he was lying on the ground; 5) that the applicant was not advised of the reason for his arrest or why he had been stopped; 6) that a police officer laughed at the applicant; 7) that the applicant was not allowed to contact his girlfriend; 8) that the applicant did not understand the officer who cautioned and charged him; 9) that ash was left on the front seat of his car after it had been searched. The review found that three of the complaints were dealt with to a reasonable standard and six were not. A reconsideration direction has been made in respect of five complaints.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00438/16
    Police Body:
    Police Scotland
    Date:
    13 March 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    438.16 The complaints in this case arose from the applicant being asked to voluntarily attend a police station in connection with an allegation that he has assaulted a husband and wife. Four complaints were considered, namely: 1) that an officer telephoned the applicant and demanded he attend at a police office for interview. Despite not wishing to attend, the applicant felt pressure to do so as the officer stated he would attend at the applicant's home and remove him to a police office in a police car if he failed to meet with him; 2) that officers carried out insufficient enquiry prior to demanding that the applicant attend a police office for interview. Had the officers carried out a thorough investigation, they would have realised the applicant was not responsible for the crime for which they interviewed him; 3) that police officers failed to adequately explain procedures to the applicant meaning he was unaware of his status, believing he had been arrested; and 4) officers were provided a copy of a DVD on, which the applicant believes clearly shows he was not responsible for the assault under investigation. The officers advised him they would take appropriate action when considering the evidence they had obtained, however, the applicant has not been provided with an adequate update as to the outcome of this. The review found that all four of the applicant's complaints were dealt with to a reasonable standard. No recommendations were made.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00409/16
    Police Body:
    Police Scotland
    Date:
    13 March 2017
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    409.16 The complaints in this case arose after Police Scotland responded to an allegation that the applicant's mother was being attacked at her home address. Two complaints were reviewed, namely: 1) that the applicant does not believe that officers were justified in forcing entry to his house; and 2) that the applicant believes there was no investigation to establish who made the allegation. The review found that both complaints were dealt with to a reasonable standard. No recommendations were made.