Complaint Handling Reviews

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Report – Police Scotland – PIRC/00420/23

09 Feb 2024

The Complaints

The complaint in this case arose after the police attended reports of an ongoing incident at an address. We have reviewed the handling of three complaints, namely that: 

  1. officers failed to provide safety to the applicant and her partner, by not returning her partner home or speaking to him, indicating that officers’ actions were based on a pre-emptive call from her partner’s two abductors;
  2. officers failed to carry out sufficient enquiry into where the applicant’s partner lived or the status of his Power of Attorney, causing a delay which facilitated the registration and granting of a Power of Attorney; and
  3. an officer searched the applicant and her property without providing a reason for the search.

Police Scotland's Decision

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

Our Findings

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

Consequently, we have made two recommendations to address the shortcomings in Police Scotland’s handling of the complaints. In summary, we have recommended that Police Scotland conducts further necessary and proportionate enquiries into complaints 1 and 2, and provides the applicant with a further response which clearly explains the rationale for the determination reached.

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


Police Scotland implemented both recommendations in this case. In doing so, Police Scotland conducted further enquiries and provided a further well-reasoned response to both matters. Although both complaints remained ‘not upheld’, Police Scotland apologised for the original complaint response not covering the points fully. 

Police Bodies: Police Scotland 

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