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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/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.
  • Title:
    Report, Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00221/16
    Police Body:
    Police Scotland, Report
    Date:
    28 November 2016
    Download:
    Download Report, Police Scotland
    221.16 The complaints in this case arose from police officers stopping the applicant as they believed he had committed a speeding offence. Four complaints were considered, namely: 1. that the police vehicle conducting the speed check was hidden from view and was 10 to 11 metres from the roadside; 2. that another vehicle was in sight when the speed of the applicant's vehicle was checked, against police guidelines; 3. that the time allegedly taken to check the speed of the applicant's vehicle was incorrect; and 4. that police officers failed to provide video evidence from the police vehicle video for the court proceedings. The review found that all four complaints were dealt with to a reasonable standard. No recommendations were made in this connection.
  • Title:
    Report, Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00258/16
    Police Body:
    Police Scotland, Report
    Date:
    28 November 2016
    Download:
    Download Report, Police Scotland
    258.16 The complaints in this case arose when police officers attended at the applicant's home address and seized his firearms. Four complaints were reviewed, namely: 1) that Police Scotland refused to provide an explanation for the seizure of the applicant's firearms; 2) that the applicant was asked to sign incorrect documentation; 3) that Police Scotland discriminated against the applicant by failing to make alternative provision for his disability (deafness); and, 4) that there were delays in progressing the investigation in connection with the applicant's suitability as a firearms licence holder. The review found that one of the complaints was dealt with to a reasonable standard and three were not. Two recommendations were made and a learning point was identified.
  • Title:
    Report, Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00563/15
    Police Body:
    Police Scotland, Report
    Date:
    28 November 2016
    Download:
    Download Report, Police Scotland
    563.15 The complaint in this case arose from a search of the applicant's property by Police Scotland using a warrant obtained under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. One complaint was considered: that Police Scotland retained a large sum of money seized during this search, despite being provided with information confirming its legitimacy. The review found that the complaint was dealt with to a reasonable standard. No recommendations were made
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00115/16
    Police Body:
    Report, Police Scotland
    Date:
    21 November 2016
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    115/16. The complaints in this case arose from the police attending at the applicant’s home, subsequently searching it and seizing property belonging to the applicant. Seven complaints were reviewed, namely: 1. that, having taken possession of his property, Police Scotland destroyed the property without the applicant’s permission; 2. that, having seized various sums of monies from the applicant, Police Scotland disposed of it under the Proceeds of Crime Act; 3. that, having seized the applicant’s motor vehicle, Police Scotland did not return it to him; 4. that officers attended the applicant’s address in relation to disturbances that had not taken place; 5. that officers entered the applicant’s home on 21 December 2015 without permission or warrant; 6. that the applicant was subject to searches on the street by officers; and 7. that officers entered the applicant’s home on 5 February 2016 on a “drugs search warrant”. The review found that four complaints were dealt with to a reasonable standard while three complaints were not. Four recommendations were made in this connection.
  • Title:
    Report - Police Scotland
    Reference:
    PIRC/00254/16
    Police Body:
    Report, Police Scotland
    Date:
    21 November 2016
    Download:
    Download Report - Police Scotland
    254/16. The complaints in this case arose from police officers’ attendance at a disturbance at the address of a person known to the applicant. One complaint was reviewed, namely: that the applicant was wrongfully arrested. The review found that the complaint was dealt with to a reasonable standard. No recommendations were made.