Complaint Handling Reviews

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Report – Police Scotland – PIRC/00509/23

06 Mar 2024

The Complaints

The complaint in this case arose after the applicant reported concerns about the care of her sister in a nursing home, prior to her death in hospital. Specifically, the complaint made to the National Health Service (NHS) was referred to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), who directed Police Scotland to investigate.  Prior to the submission of the death report to the COPFS, the investigating officer did not speak to the applicant about her concerns that prompted the complaint to the NHS. The applicant subsequently complained to Police Scotland about receiving no contact, reflecting in her application to the PIRC that she was concerned her previous history of making complaints to Police Scotland on unrelated matters, had influenced the decision by officers to not undertake any significant efforts to speak with her about her concerns related to the care of her sister.

We have reviewed the handling of one complaint, namely that: 

  1. Police Scotland failed to contact the applicant regarding her report about the care of her sister.

Police Scotland's Decision

Police Scotland did not uphold the applicant’s complaint. 

Our Findings

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

Consequently, we have made a recommendation and identified a learning point to address the shortcomings in Police Scotland’s handling of the complaint. In summary, we have recommended that Police Scotland provide the applicant with a further response to this complaint which takes account of all material information available, and which gives a clear rationale for whichever conclusion is reached. Further, we noted on the complaint file that the applicant’s contact had been restricted, accordingly our learning point relates to Police Scotland’s provisions for restricting contact with complainers. 

Our recommendation 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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