Complaint Handling Reviews

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Report – Police Scotland – PIRC/00081/23

06 Mar 2024

The Complaints

The complaints in this case arose police attended the home of the applicant’s son, to carry out a welfare check. After a period of three hours, the applicant’s son agreed to attend hospital but on leaving his property he became hostile towards police officers and members of the public. Consequently, Mr F was arrested and held in custody.

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

  1. On 28 September 2022 officers used excessive force when arresting the applicant’s son, which caused him injuries to his head and neck;
  2. Officers took the applicant’s son to custody following his arrest when it was apparent he was suffering from an overdose and mental health crisis, and should instead have been taken to hospital by ambulance;
  3. On the same date, officers stripped the applicant’s son naked, reinforcing that he was having a mental health crisis and should have been taken to hospital; 
  4. On the same date, officers charged the applicant’s son when it was apparent he was drunk, suffering an overdose and in mental health crisis, and could not be culpable for the offence, in such circumstances;
  5. On the same date, officers charged the applicant’s son to cover up for unlawfully entering his house without a warrant; and
  6. On the 28 September 2022 and 29 September 2022, Police Scotland held the applicant’s son in custody for between 18 and 24 hours with no medical attention

Police Scotland's Decision

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

Our Findings

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

We have made two administrative recommendations in relation to how Police Scotland record complaints 4 and 5 of the applicant’s complaints. In summary we recommended that Police Scotland record complaints 4 and 5 as separate complaints. 

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


Police Scotland implemented both administrative recommendations in this case. In doing so, they recorded each complaint as a separate complaint about the police and provided us with an updated complaint handling form to reflect this amendment to their records. 

Police Bodies: Police Scotland 

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