The Review Team has published reports on Police Scotland’s handling of complaints made about them in relation to their response to four separate neighbour disputes.

They found that the majority of complaints made by the public were handled to a reasonable standard.

A total of 18 complaints were made, of which 13 were dealt with appropriately by police.

Our role is to review the way in which policing bodies handle complaints made about them. It is not to investigate the circumstances which led to the complaint or uphold allegations made. When carrying out a Complaint Handling Review (CHR) we consider a number of factors, including whether police carried out sufficient enquiries; their response was supported by the material information available and whether the police response was adequately reasoned.

In reports for PIRC/00158/19 and PIRC/00095/19, we supported Police Scotland’s decision not to uphold six complaints. These included claims made that officers were uncivil and that a man’s neighbour was not charged over allegations of assault and perverting the course of justice.

In another case, a total of 10 complaints were made about an on-going neighbour dispute between 2013 and 2016. We concluded that in PIRC/00262/18, PIRC/00418/18 and PIRC/00422/18 four complaints were not handled reasonably, including one by the applicant that police failed to enforce an interdict against her neighbour.

As a result, we made three recommendations to address the shortcomings identified in Police Scotland’s handling of these complaints.

In PIRC/00414/18, one of two complaints was not handled to a reasonable standard. A recommendation was made on how police dealt with the applicant’s complaint that an officer made a number of unfounded claims about him, which were subsequently documented by the man’s local authority social work department.

Six other CHR reports were published this week. In three, all the complaints were reasonably handled by police. The cases included an applicant who was arrested and strip-searched and another in which a man spent a night in custody.

In the other three reports, the majority of complaints dealt with appropriately, although four recommendations and one reconsideration direction have been issued to Police Scotland.

In PIRC/00019/19, four out of the seven complaints were handled to a reasonable standard. We have issued a reconsideration direction for Police Scotland to look again at a complaint that the applicant was not properly cared for in custody. This must be carried out by officers who were not involved in the original handling of the complaint. A recommendation was also made that police should make further enquiries in relation to a complaint that the man was held in custody for longer than was necessary.

View all the reports HERE.

We expect all actions issued to Police Scotland to be completed within two months from the date a report is issued.

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