13 January 2020 | Complaint Reviews
Report - Police Scotland PIRC/00057/19
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 following the applicant’s son taking unwell on a bus, which resulted in him being searched for drugs.
We have reviewed the handling of seven complaints, namely that:
1. an officer used excessive force when detaining the applicant’s son for a drugs search;
2. an officer was oppressive with the applicant’s son when detaining him for a drugs search;
3. an officer intimidated the applicant’s son when carrying out a full search at the police station;
4. an officer twice made the applicant’s son strip naked for a search;
5. an officer failed to tell the applicant’s son he had been charged with an offence;
6. the custody sergeant did not follow correct procedures when dealing with a vulnerable person; and
7. an officer was arrogant when he pulled over the applicant’s vehicle when she and her mother were en route to collect her son.
Police Scotland’s Decision
Police Scotland did not uphold complaints 1, 3, 4, 5 or 6 and did not record complaints 2 and 7 as complaints about the police.
We have found that Police Scotland handled complaints 5 and 6 to a reasonable standard but not so any of the other complaints.
Consequently, we have made five recommendations to address the shortcomings in Police Scotland’s handling of the complaints. In summary, we have recommended that further statements be sought from the officers involved and a fresh response issued to the applicant. We have also identified a learning point for Police Scotland.
Our recommendations should be implemented by Police Scotland within two months of the date of this report.
Police Bodies : Police ScotlandDownload