We publish as much information as we can about the work that we do. 

Here, you can find various documents and records relating to our investigations, Complaint Handling Reviews, publications, audits and business documents, such as our strategic and business plans, annual reports and policies. 



In investigations directed by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS): Our findings and report to COPFS are confidential and will not be published.

In investigations referred by the Chief Constable or other policing bodies operating in Scotland: The Commissioner may publish the conclusions unless criminal proceedings are still being considered. 

In investigations referred by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) regarding misconduct by a senior officer of the rank of ACC and above: The Commissioner is not authorised to publish reports.



Whilst we consider it appropriate to be open and transparent about our work, some restrictions do apply. Our summarised CHR reports are anonymised to ensure those involved cannot be individually identified.

If you are looking for a specific document please select from the filters below and click 'filter results'.

  • 26 April 2023 | For Police

    Audit Report of Police Scotland on the triage of Complaints about the Police 2023

  • 28 March 2023 | For Police

    Learning Point Issue 22 - March 2023

    Issue 22 of Learning Point, our biannual bulletin where we offer guidance, updates and best practice based on real recommendations made by our Review and Investigations teams, to Scottish policing bodies.

    In this issue we look at dealing with non complaint people in custody and the process for the referral, assessment and/or investigations of all on-duty allegations of assault made against police officers and police staff. We cover the effective and efficient use of PIRC’s non-investigation provision and share guidance on how to ensure that complaints are properly recorded at the outset of a complaint enquiry.

    Key topics include:

    • Serious injury in police custody
    • Investigation of Article 3 and 5 breaches of ECHR made against police officers and police staff
    • Use of the non investigation provisions
    • Recording of complaints
    • Timescales and effective communications
    • Discretionary decisions


  • 30 November 2022 | For Police

    Learning Point Issue 21 - November 2022

    In this issue we offer guidance on recurring complaint handling themes and some updates from our Investigations team.

    Key topics include:

    • The importance for detailed assessment in final letters to complainers
    • Considerations around Front Line Resolution
    • The identification of police officers in final letters
    • The role of a PIRC scene manager
    • Positive outcomes for Body Worn Video footage

    We also provide an update on our Statutory Guidance, share news of our recently published Annual Report 2021-2022 and cover the recent constructive engagement event between PIRC and Police Scotland’s PSD team.

  • 29 June 2022 | For Police

    Statutory Guidance October 2022

    Revised statutory guidance for handling complaints about the police in Scotland has been issued by the PIRC.

    The statutory guidance sets out the guiding principles of effective and efficient complaint handling arrangements, provides practical advice to police complaint handlers and encourages policing bodies to utilise the complaints process to raise standards, improve service delivery and increase public confidence.

    The central theme of the revised guidance is to remind all policing bodies, operating in Scotland, of their general (and Scotland specific) Public Sector Equality duties, in terms of section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.

  • 13 April 2022 | For Police

    Learning Point Issue 20 - April 2022

    In this issue we discuss, operational guidance on arrest and release of accused persons prior to being processed through a custody suite and our new referral model which is currently under review. We update on statutory guidance, the National Complaint Handling Development group and new discrimination guidelines.

  • 05 November 2021 | For Police

    Learning Point Issue 19 - November 2021

    In this issue, our Review team provides guidance on what constitutes a relevant complaint, the distinction between on and off duty complaints, dealing with repeat complaints and the appropriate use of an Unacceptable Actions Policy.

    We also share how on recommendation of Dame Elish Angiolini, Investigation of Allegations of Article 3 and 5 breaches of the European Court of Human Rights made against police officers and police staff should be carried out by PIRC.

  • 31 March 2021 | For Police

    Learning Point Issue 18 - March 2021

    In this issue, we explore opportunities for organisational learning and improvement through cascading lessons learned during the complaints process and the complaint handling reviews carried out by our Review Team. 

    The work of our Investigations Team highlights the issues faced by officers in charge of monitoring vulnerable people in custody, drawing attention to key opportunities for change and improvement in procedures. 

  • 31 March 2021 | For Police

    Learning Point Issue 18 March 2021 - Microsoft Word version

  • 24 March 2021 | For Police

    Statutory Guidance March 2021

    Comprehensive new statutory guidance for handling complaints about the police in Scotland has been drawn up by the PIRC, bringing greater transparency, accountability and an increased focus on improvement.

  • 27 October 2020 | For Police

    Learning Point Issue 17 - October 2020

    In this issue, through the work of our Review Team, we explore the issue of conflicts of interest, looking at instances of actual, perceived and potential conflicts and how to address these in practice.

    One year on from our investigations article looking at the repercussions of inadequate searching and monitoring of people being transported in police vehicles, we look at more recent examples of compromised prisoner safety in custody due to the same reasons.