Complaint Handling Reviews

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Report - British Transport Police – PIRC/00564/23

04 Apr 2024

The Complaints

The complaints in this case arose after a fellow passenger on the same train service as the applicant, reported him for carrying out a sexual act. The applicant was cautioned and arrested on alighting from the train. 

We have reviewed the handling of six complaints, namely that: 

  1. an officer lied when he stated that the applicant replied, “So I’ve been caught”, following his arrest;
  2. an officer lied in order to secure a conviction following an allegation of a sexual nature being made against the applicant;
  3. an officer made the applicant feel uncomfortable when he disclosed his religion when he was booked into custody;
  4. an officer failed to provide Body Worn Video footage when required to do so for the court hearing;
  5. CCTV footage from on board the train was never produced at court or disclosed to the applicant’s legal representative; and
  6. an officer has failed to act in a fair and proper manner throughout, including at the trial which resulted in the Sheriff passing comment regarding his behaviour.

British Transport Police's Decision

British Transport Police recorded a determination that the overall level of service provided to the applicant was acceptable.

Our Findings

We found that British Transport Police did not handle any of the applicant’s complaints to a reasonable standard. 

Consequently, we have made five recommendations and identified a learning point to address the shortcomings in the handling of the complaints. In summary, we have recommended that British Transport Police record the applicants six complaints as separate complaints; carry out further necessary and proportionate enquiries; re-assess the information available; and issue the applicant with a fresh response which provides him with a clear rationale for whether his complaints have been upheld or not upheld.

In relation to our learning point, we have asked that all British Transport Police complaint handlers are reminded of the requirement to follow our Statutory Guidance when dealing with complaints originating in Scotland. 

Our recommendations and learning point should be implemented by British Transport Police within two months of the date of this report.

Police Bodies: British Transport Police

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