Our role is to independently investigate incidents involving policing bodies in Scotland.
At the end of the investigation we will report our findings to the organisation who referred the incident to us.
Provisions exist for the Commissioner to publish a report if they believe it is in the public interest to do so.
What do our reports say?
Reports for police referred investigations: these provide feedback to the policing body. The report can also highlight any opportunities for organisational learning that we identify during the investigation. This could include improving or reviewing police standard operating procedures or policies.
Reports for COPFS instructed investigations: these list our findings and provide specific detail around the incident. These reports are confidential and are not published.
We may not publish some police referred investigations because:
- Legal considerations have not been concluded.
- The individual involved could be easily identified.
- The individual involved may be vulnerable.
Making a difference
Our investigation reports provide feedback to policing bodies which highlight both good and bad practice.
This is important as it allows policing bodies to make changes to their practices and procedures to prevent the same problem arising again.
Alternatively, our conclusions can also show that policing bodies are following procedures and guidance correctly and are operating appropriately.
By highlighting both, we hope to meet our aim of improving confidence in Scottish policing.
Which reports can be published?
We can be asked to investigate an incident by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), the Chief Constable of Police Scotland, the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) and a number of other policing bodies operating in Scotland.
Our findings and report to COPFS are confidential and will not be published.
The Commissioner may publish the conclusions unless criminal proceedings are still being considered.
The Commissioner is not authorised to publish these reports.
Unhappy with PIRC's service in general?
You can make a complaint about an action or administrative failing by our staff.
If this is the case, please submit your complaint to us directly. This may lead to an internal investigation.