Complaint Handling Reviews

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Report – Police Scotland – PIRC/00036/23

27 Oct 2023

The Complaints

The complaint in this case arose after the applicant reported his ex-partner for alleged stalking and domestic abuse offences. We have reviewed the handling of six complaints, namely that: 


  1. around October 2018, officers failed to fully investigate the applicant’s allegation of assault, by failing to identify witnesses and note witness statements;
  2. around July 2019, officers failed to adequately investigate or enquire into the circumstances of a video of the applicant being posted on social media and advised him that it was not a crime;
  3. on 3 June 2021, officers failed to fully investigate the circumstances surrounding pellets, which the applicant believed to be rat poison, being found in his garden; 
  4. on 3 September 2021, an officer provided the applicant with information that indicated the materials found in his garden had been analysed and confirmed not to be poison, which was incorrect;
  5. on 15 September 2021, officers failed to adequately investigate the applicant’s report of his ex-partner driving a motor vehicle outside his address; and
  6. around April 2022, a member of Police Scotland, possibly an officer, was rude and dismissive towards the applicant while he was trying to make a complaint.

Police Scotland’s Decision

Police Scotland upheld complaints 2, 4 and 5, but not so complaints 1, 3 and 6. 

Our Findings

We have found that Police Scotland handled the applicant’s complaints to a reasonable standard. 

We have identified an organisational learning point, specifically in relation to good practice demonstrated in Police Scotland’s handling of complaints 2, 4 and 5.

Our Learning Point should be implemented by Police Scotland within two months of the date of our report.


Police Scotland implemented a Learning Point we identified in this complaint handling review in respect of good practice. We identified that Police Scotland made all necessary and proportionate enquiries; it identified an additional complaint not articulated as such by the applicant  and identified both individual and organisational learning to address relevant shortcomings. The learning point was shared with the relevant police enquiry officers and the learning point is included in the Learning Points Report which is circulated to all complaint handlers.

Police bodies:  Police Scotland

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