Complaint Handling Reviews

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Report – Police Scotland - PIRC/00440/22

05 Oct 2023

The Complaints

The complaints in this case arose after the applicant reported to the police that he had been assaulted. We have reviewed the handling of fourteen complaints, namely that: 

  1. on 14 July 2021, officers cancelled an ambulance against the applicant’s wishes and pressurised him to attend a hospital for treatment, despite repeatedly informing them that he did not wish to attend;

  2. whilst at the hospital, officers failed to listen to the applicant’s repeated requests to be taken home due to concerns for his family in his absence; 

  3.  officers failed to note the applicant’s statement despite having ample time and opportunity to do so;

  4.  officers failed to photograph the applicant’s injuries;

  5. the enquiry officer failed to note a comprehensive statement from the applicant and omitted information he provided about the suspect; 

  6. officers failed to investigate the applicant’s report regarding a female behaving in an abusive and threating manner;

  7. officers informed the applicant that the suspect would be arrested and bail conditions imposed that prohibited them from approaching his home address, but this did not occur;

  8. officers took over 7 days to trace the suspect that the applicant reported had assaulted him;

  9. between 14 and 27 July 2021, the enquiry officer failed to update the applicant regarding his assault allegation;

  10. officers failed to conduct a thorough enquiry into the applicant's assault allegation due to racial discrimination; 

  11. on 14 July 2021 officers failed to note a statement from the applicant’s partner after she reported being assaulted;

  12. between 14 July and 6 October 2021, officers failed to investigate an allegation of assault made by the applicant’s partner and failed to interview named witnesses;

  13. between 14 July 2021 and 6 October 2021, officers failed to update the applicant’s partner regarding her assault allegation; and

  14. on 14 July 2021 officers failed to note other witness statements despite having ample opportunity and time to do so.

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, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9 and 14 to a reasonable standard but not so complaints 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12 and 13. 

Consequently, we made seven recommendations and identified a learning point to address the shortcomings in Police Scotland’s handling of the complaints. In summary, we have recommended that Police Scotland reassess complaints 5, 6, 10, 12, and 13 and conduct further enquiry into complaint 7 and 11. Police Scotland should thereafter provide the applicant with a further well-reasoned response to each of the complaints.

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

Police Bodies: Police Scotland

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