02 October 2020 | Complaint Reviews
Report - Police Scotland PIRC/00525/19
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 was arrested and held in police custody overnight.
The applicant made 15 complaints about Police Scotland, namely that:
- the applicant was told that he would be interviewed at 3.30pm but instead was not interviewed until 9pm;
- the applicant was not afforded privacy when using the bathroom while in custody;
- an officer attempted to open the applicant’s property bag without his permission;
- the mattress in the applicant’s cell was not appropriate for use by a person with a disability;
- the light was left on in the applicant’s cell overnight, which meant that he was unable to sleep;
- an officer threatened to remove the applicant’s wheelchair from him after he had fallen out of it while in his cell;
- the applicant was offered food that was not fit for consumption while in custody;
- the applicant’s fingerprints were taken at 4am, which he considered an unreasonable time;
- the applicant was not given appropriate medication while in custody;
- the applicant was offered food which was unsuitable for someone with diabetes while in custody;
- the applicant was not offered a blanket for several hours while in custody;
- the applicant was not taken to court until after 3.30pm;
- the applicant was not taken to a custody suite with appropriate facilities for individuals with disabilities;
- the applicant was not offered food between 5.30am and being taken to court at 3.30pm; and
- an officer told the applicant that his mobile phone would be returned to him following interview but instead his phone was seized by officers.
Police Scotland’s Decision
Police Scotland upheld complaints 2, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12 & 13 but did not uphold complaints 1, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14 & 15.
We have found that Police Scotland handled 10 of the applicant’s complaints to a reasonable standard (1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14 & 15) but not so the other 5 (2, 3, 8, 10 & 11). We have made 4 recommendations and identified a learning point to address the shortcomings that we have identified.
Police Bodies : Police Scotland