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by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS): Our findings and report to COPFS are confidential and will not be published.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

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 27 October 2020 | For Police

    Learning Point Issue 17 - October 2020 - Microsoft Word version

  • 15 April 2020 | For Police

    Learning Point Issue 16 - April 2020

    In Learning Point Issue 16, drawing on examples from recent investigations, we look at communication issues between frontline officers and Area Control Room (ACR) staff during vehicle pursuits, examining the importance of putting the ACR in the driving seat. We also explore the role of PIRC Investigators in Post Incident Procedures.

    Elsewhere, the work of our Review Team has identified that accurate recording of complaints at the outset of complaint enquiries could prevent additional work and improve outcomes. We look at some examples from recent reviews and provide some useful tips for enquiry officers.

  • 26 September 2019 | For Police

    Learning Point Issue 15 - September 2019

    In Learning Point Issue 15, we look at how to ensure the safety of those being transported in police vehicles, drawing on examples from recent investigations. We also take a closer look at our investigations statistics and offer advice on what information to provide when referring an incident to the PIRC and how this may avoid the need for a full investigation.

    Issue 15 also identifies the recurring issues faced by our Review Team when dealing with statements supplied by police officers. Elsewhere, we explore how much enquiry is required when responding to a complaint from a member of the public.

  • 21 March 2019 | For Police

    Learning Point Issue 14 - March 2019

    This edition is the first in a brand new format. The biannual publication now incorporates the learning and outcomes from the work of our Investigation Team as well as our Review Team.

    Drawing on examples from our investigations, we look at how police enquiries may have produced different – potentially lifesaving – results had officers spoken directly to those who reported incidents.

    Issue 14 also explores problems relating to the seizure and analysis of CCTV footage in police complaints handling and looks at the value of CCTV in responding to complaints.