Complaint Handling Reviews

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Report – Police Scotland - PIRC/00019/23

17 Oct 2023

The Complaints

The complaints in this case arose following Police officers’ attendance at the applicant’s home to execute a search warrant. We have reviewed the handling of eight complaints, namely that: 

  1. Officers attended at the applicant's home to execute a search warrant, at which time, he was not  permitted to view the search warrant, despite asking to see it on numerous occasions;

  2. Upon officers entering the applicant’s home address, he immediately informed them that he has mental health issues and did not understand why they were there and for what purpose. Despite this, the officers failed to listen or take this into account or provide an appropriate person;

  3. Officers called the applicant “stupid”, insulted him and insinuated that all people with mental health issues are stupid;

  4. A female officer was aggressive, doubted the applicant’s mental health, asked inappropriate questions about his diagnosis and who diagnosed him, and behaved in a controlling and degrading manner;

  5. The applicant asked officers for a solicitor, whilst within his home address, however he was denied this and an officer replied stating “that’s the least of your worries”;

  6.  A female officer called the applicant a “prick”;

  7.  Officers threatened the applicant with charges if he refused to assist them and provide them with information; and

  8.  Officers damaged the applicant’s notebook computer resulting in the keyboard being damaged, the clips broken and the hard drive being cleared of files.

Police Scotland’s Decision

Police Scotland did not uphold any of the applicant’s complaints. 

Our Findings

We have found that Police Scotland the applicant’s complaints 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 to a reasonable standard but not so complaint 8. We have also highlighted a shortcoming in Police Scotland’s administration of the applicant’s complaints. 

Consequently, we have made a recommendation to address the shortcomings in Police Scotland’s handling of the complaints. In summary, we have asked Police Scotland to provide the applicant with a further response which acknowledges the delay in responding to his complaints, a clear explanation for it and provides the appropriate apology.

Our recommendation should be implemented by Police Scotland within two months of the date of this report.


Police Scotland implemented the recommendation made in this case. In doing so, they wrote to the applicant to apologise for the delay in responding to his complaints.  Police Scotland also apologised for not providing the applicant with adequate updates explaining the reasons for this delay prior to him receiving Police Scotland’s final response letter.

Police Bodies: Police Scotland

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