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PIRC Discrimination Guidance

04 Nov 2021

Commissioner’s foreword 

It is crucial for public confidence in the independent investigation and review of complaints that allegations of discrimination against the police are handled properly. Values based policing which reflects and represents our communities is vital to secure the consent from which policing draws its legitimacy. Unfair or unlawful discrimination fundamentally undermines the ability of policing to operate by consent.

Investigating and resolving allegations of discrimination can be challenging. Nonetheless, the police complaints system and those who review the handling of police complaints or undertake investigations into the actions or omissions of the police, including criminal allegations, must be able to meet this challenge to retain the confidence of all communities and groups. 

The guidelines, supported by practical examples, set the standards that complainers, nearest relatives and other interested parties should expect from the PIRC when allegations of discrimination are made against the police. They are also the standards that we will apply when conducting our investigations and complaints handling reviews


Michelle Macleod


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