Before you contact the PIRC, we recommend that you read this section carefully to make sure that you have completed all the necessary steps in order for us to assist you.
If you haven’t already made your complaint to the police body concerned, you will need to do so before contacting the PIRC.
You should first make your complaint to the Professional Standards Department of the police body concerned and allow them to deal with your complaint before you contact the PIRC. Click here for contact details of the police bodies that operate in Scotland.
Once you have received the final response to your complaint from the police body concerned and if you are dissatisfied with the way your complaint has been handled, you can then ask the PIRC to undertake a Complaint Handling Review (CHR).
If you wish to request a CHR, you should complete and submit an application form to the PIRC. You can do this online here or you can download/ask us to send you a copy which you can post back to us.
You should specifically identify on the application form which of the complaints you made to the police body that you would like us to review.
By signing the application form or clicking the digital signature box, you agree that we can ask the police body to provide us with any information it has about your complaint(s).
If we need further information to help us consider your application we will let you know what else we need you to submit.
Once we have considered the information in your application form and decided that it may be eligible for review, we will ask the police body to send us all the available information about your case. When this information has been provided, we will then let you know whether we are able to review your complaint.
If you have made a complaint about an individual police officer or civilian staff member from any of the police bodies operating in Scotland and you are dissatisfied with how that police body dealt with your complaint, we can review how that body handled your complaint. We cannot review the original complaint itself.
You can apply for a CHR if you are:
The PIRC can review how the following Scottish police bodies handled your complaint :
In addition, the PIRC can review how the following UK-wide police bodies handled your complaint, if at the relevant time they were operating in Scotland:
Although we can review how your complaint has been handled, we do not carry out further investigation into your original complaint. Find out more about our review process and possible outcomes of a review here.
If your complaint is about something that we cannot review, we will try to point you to another organisation that may be able to help you. View our list of useful contacts and websites.
For further information on the remit and powers of the PIRC in relation to reviews, please see the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006, as amended by the Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012.
The Commissioner, who is appointed by Scottish Ministers, is independent of the police and delivers a free and impartial service. The role of the PIRC is to independently investigate incidents involving the police and independently review the way the police handle complaints from the public. The aim is to secure public confidence in policing in Scotland.
Yes. If you want us to undertake a Complaint Handling Review (CHR) you must submit a completed review application form to us within three months of the date on which the police contacted you with the final outcome of your complaint. If we receive your request for a review after three months have passed, we may be unable to consider your case unless we are satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances for the delay.
After reviewing how your complaint was handled by the police body we may consider that:
For more information go to the section on Possible Outcomes of a review.