Complaint Handling Reviews

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Report – Police Scotland – PIRC/00089/23

28 Feb 2024

The Complaints

The complaints in this case arose as a result of Police Scotland’s interaction with the applicant and his neighbours in relation to various incidents that they each reported. Specifically, the applicant alleged that his neighbours threatened him, verbally abused him, made groundless accusations towards him and filmed him conducting normal activities. The applicant made numerous reports to Police Scotland regarding his neighbours’ alleged conduct, and the applicant’s neighbours also made various reports to Police Scotland regarding his alleged conduct. 

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

  1. between October 2021 and 23 August 2022, incidents the applicant reported involving his neighbours were not taken seriously by the police or fully investigated;

  2. between the same dates, the police gave the applicant contradictory and unreasonable instructions;

  3. between the same dates, the applicant was treated unfairly and discriminated against by the police;

  4. on 20 March 2022, an officer was rude and treated the applicant unfairly with prejudice;

  5. on the same date, an officer ordered the applicant not to use his front garden and threatened to arrest him if he did;

  6. on the same date, an officer was reluctant to provide the applicant with his identity information;

  7. on the same date, an officer denied the applicant’s request for a witness;

  8. on the same date, an officer gave vent to his personal anger towards the applicant; and

  9. on the same date, an officer pried into the applicant’s personal information.  

Police Scotland's Decision

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

Our Findings

We have found that Police Scotland handled complaints 1, 3, 4 and 8 to a reasonable standard, but not so complaints 2, 5, 6, 7 and 9. 

We have made two recommendations to address the shortcomings in Police Scotland’s handling of the complaints. In summary, we recommend that: in relation to complaint 2, Police Scotland reassess the complaint and provide a fresh response to the applicant; and in relation to complaint 9, Police Scotland undertake further enquiry and provide a fresh response to the applicant. 

Our recommendations should be implemented by Police Scotland within 2 months of the date of this report. 

Our Decision

Police Scotland implemented two recommendations that were made in our review. In doing so, Police Scotland conducted further enquiry and provided the applicant with further responses in respect of both complaints. The further responses outlined details from additional accounts that were sought from the officers involved and clearly outlined the rationale for the determinations reached. Police Scotland upheld one of the complaints, but determined that the other complaint remained not upheld. In relation to the upheld complaint, Police Scotland provided an apology to the applicant; and advised that the outcome and learning identified had been shared with the officer involved and his line management.

Police Bodies: Police Scotland

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