03 February 2020 | Complaint Reviews
Report - Police Scotland PIRC/00261/18, PIRC/00418/18 & PIRC/00422/18
Our role is to review the way in which policing bodies handle complaints made about them. It is not to investigate the circumstances which led to the complaint or uphold allegations made. When carrying out a Complaint Handling Review (CHR) we consider a number of factors, including whether police carried out sufficient enquiries; their response was supported by the material information available and whether the police response was adequately reasoned.
The complaints in this case arose after the applicant’s contact with Police Scotland regarding an on-going neighbour dispute.
We have reviewed the handling of ten complaints, namely that:
- The applicant is dissatisfied that [Constable A] made unfounded, false statements to [local authority] Social Work Department about her marriage, likelihood of domestic violence and the alcohol consumption of her husband (amongst other views), which have subsequently been documented in Social Work Department notes;
- On unspecified dates, at [the applicant’s address], Police Scotland have recorded incidents the applicant reported to them as neighbour disputes when the applicant believes they should be recorded as stalking offences;
- The applicant made a written complaint to the police about her neighbour repeatedly taking photos/videos of her children; however the applicant does not believe that this complaint was investigated properly and appropriately, and that the events were recorded incorrectly and inaccurately;
- On 4 June 2015, [the applicant’s neighbour] deliberately smashed and broke one of the applicant’s children’s ride-on plastic trucks and called the applicant an "ugly English C**t". However, [Constable B] did not take a statement from the applicant; did not want to see the damage to the property; and informed the applicant that it was a civil matter;
- On 7 May 2016, at [the applicant’s address], the applicant heard her neighbour make an insulting remark in the presence of an officer [Constable A], and she heard [Constable A] laugh in response to this remark;
- On an unspecific date, at [the applicant’s address], the applicant is dissatisfied at the lack of action taken by Police Scotland to establish the facts surrounding the land dispute and ownership of said land and track;
- In June/July 2013, two police officers entered the applicant’s property without authority or warrant, asking for persons that did not reside there. This caused the applicant to feel threatened, intimidated, and alarmed;
- On 6 March 2015, the applicant reported various allegations to Constable A, none of which she logged or enquired into;
- The applicant is dissatisfied that the incident she reported to the police on 10 September 2015 was recorded as a neighbour dispute and civil matter; and
- The applicant is dissatisfied that Police Scotland have failed to enforce an interdict against her neighbour, and in doing so, have failed to keep her and her family safe.
Police Scotland’s Decision
Police Scotland upheld complaint 10, but did not uphold complaints 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8.
No determination was provided in relation to complaint 9.
We have found that Police Scotland handled complaints 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 9 to a reasonable standard; but not complaints 1, 6, 8 or 10.
Consequently, we have made three recommendations to address the shortcomings we have identified in Police Scotland’s handling of complaints 1, 6 and 10, with an additional recommendation having been made in relation to complaint 9.
Our recommendations should be implemented by Police Scotland within two months of the date of this report.
Police Bodies : Police Scotland