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. 

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  • 03 June 2021 | Investigations

    PIRC Investigation: Discharge of Taser by police in Orkney

    BACKGROUND

    About 3.15 am on Sunday 21 February 2021, at a house in Orkney, two Police Scotland Specially Trained Officers (STO’s) discharged a Taser at a 22-year-old man when he ran at officers and appeared to reach for a knife.

    Prior to the incident, the man made numerous 999 calls to Police Scotland, shouting, swearing and stating that he wanted to stab police officers. He also said that he had mental health issues. Two STO’s were sent to the incident armed with Taser devices and were confronted by the man, who appeared at a window brandishing a metal pole and a knife. The man was shouting that he was going to stab and kill the officers. He was instructed to drop the weapons and both officers pointed their Tasers at him.

    When the man left the house he was instructed to kneel on the ground. He was initially compliant but then ran at an officer and reached towards a knife sheath in the waistband of his trousers, resulting in both officers discharging their Tasers, and temporarily incapacitating the man. He was then arrested and handcuffed. The man suffered no after effects from the Taser and was detained in police custody.

    The man subsequently appeared at court and received a custodial sentence. As court proceedings are concluded, we are able to publish details of the incident.

    REFERRAL TO THE PIRC

    Under the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006, as amended, and the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Investigations, Serious Incidents and Specified Weapons) Regulations 2013, all incidents of Police Scotland’s use of firearms, including the use of Taser, must be referred to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) for independent assessment. In this regard, on 23 February 2021 Police Scotland referred this incident to the PIRC.

    PIRC INVESTIGATION

    PIRC investigators obtained statements from the individual officers involved and also obtained and examined command and control incident logs, recordings of telephone and airwave radio communications, briefing papers, the relevant Police Scotland Standard Operating Procedures and photographs taken of the scene shortly after the incident occurred.

    PIRC FINDINGS

    • The man had a history of self-harming, mental health issues and criminal conduct including the use of weapons and violence towards police officers, resulting in him being well known to the police and emergency services in Orkney.
    • When the man telephoned Police Scotland he was abusive and threatened to stab police officers.                                                                                                                                        
    • Police officers were sent to the man’s home where they saw that he had armed himself with a metal pole and knife. He again threatened to stab officers.                     
    • When the man left his home he made a sudden lunge towards an officer while reaching for a knife sheath in his trouser waistband. The officers discharged their Tasers and the man was arrested.
    • In the circumstances, the use of Taser was necessary, proportionate and justified.

     

  • 20 May 2021 | Investigations

    PIRC Investigation: serious injury following incident involving police officers in Wishaw, Lanarkshire

    BACKGROUND

    On Sunday 14 June 2020, a 25-year-old man sustained a laceration to the top of his head after being struck by police batons while being arrested by officers of Police Scotland. The incident took place in the common close of a block of flats in Wishaw.

    Just after 10pm, two officers were dealing with a separate incident when a man began to shout abuse at them before entering the block of flats. One of the officers entered the close to warn the man about his conduct. As he did so, the man drew a meat cleaver that was concealed in the rear waistband of his trousers, and struck the officer on his hand causing a deep laceration and broken bones before he retreated into his flat.

    As the second officer stood at the entrance to the close, the man came out of the flat and lunged at him and repeatedly punched him on the face. The first officer then re-entered the close and in an effort to defend themselves and prevent further assault, both officers struck the man on the head and arms with their batons. This had no effect on the man who continued to assault the second officer. The man then retrieved the cleaver from his flat and repeatedly struck it at the head and body of the second officer resulting in part of the officer’s finger being severed and being struck on the head with the cleaver. The man then re-entered his flat.

    In response to a call for urgent assistance, more police officers, some in possession of public order shields, arrived at the scene and a containment was placed on the building.

    When the man came out of the flat, he was arrested, handcuffed and walked towards a police van. On approaching the van he began to struggle violently and lunged forward and struck his head on the side of the van.

    The man was eventually restrained and taken to Monklands Hospital where he was treated for a laceration on his head that he sustained during the incident. The injured officers were taken to University Hospital, Wishaw, for treatment to the serious injuries they had sustained.

    The man has since been convicted and was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison.

    REFERRAL TO THE PIRC

    On 16 June 2020, Police Scotland referred the incident to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) in terms of Section 33A (c) of the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006 (as amended) and the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Investigations Procedure, Serious Incidents and Specified Weapons) Regulations 2013.

    PIRC INVESTIGATION

    The investigation focused on the actions and decision making of the officers involved during the initial incident and the subsequent arrest of the man.

    During the course of the investigation, PIRC investigators obtained statements from the officers involved in the incident and reviewed CCTV and social media footage and Airwave radio recordings. In addition, they obtained and examined STORM Command and Control incident logs, Police Scotland briefing papers and relevant Police Scotland Standard Operating Procedures.

    PIRC FINDINGS

    • The 25-year-old man carried out a violent and unprovoked assault on two police officers, striking them with a meat cleaver causing serious injury to both officers.
    • During the assault, both officers struck the man on the head with their police issue batons to defend themselves and prevent the assault. As a result, he sustained a laceration to the top of his head. In the circumstances, the use of batons was necessary, proportionate and justified due to the violent and life threatening nature of the man’s assault on the officers.
    • The officers displayed bravery in tackling a man armed with a large bladed weapon who was intent on causing them serious injury.
    • The subsequent use of force by the officers who arrested the man was also necessary, proportionate and justified given the level of resistance shown by him during his arrest.

    Recommendations

    No recommendations are made.

     

  • 20 May 2021 | Investigations

    Investigation Report: Discharge of Captor spray involving BTP in Paisley

    BACKGROUND

    Just after 9pm on Monday 24 February 2020, at County Square, Paisley, Renfrewshire, following an incident within Paisley Gilmour Street Railway Station, a British Transport Police (BTP) officer discharged Captor Incapacitant spray during the arrest of a 20-year-old man. The incident began after staff at the station reported that the man had, a short time earlier, indecently exposed himself.

    BTP officers were immediately sent to the incident and found the man, who appeared intoxicated, at the station in the company of others.

    They tried to communicate with the man, who became aggressive and, following a struggle, assaulted both officers and ran away. He was pursued by the officers and during the chase, the man stopped, turned towards an officer who he had seized by the hair and punched during the initial struggle and adopted a threatening stance. Fearing for her safety, the officer discharged her Captor Incapacitant spray at the man. The man ran off but, following a violent struggle, he was apprehended by other officers.

    The man became breathless and vomited. He told the officers that he suffered from asthma. As a result, one of the BTP officers provided the man with her personal asthma inhaler, which alleviated his breathlessness. Paramedics who subsequently attended the scene examined the man and found that he was not injured as a result of the incident.

    REFERRAL TO THE PIRC

    On 25 February 2020, BTP referred the incident to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) in terms of Section 33A (c) of the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006 (as amended) and the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Investigations Procedure, Serious Incidents and Specified Weapons) Regulations 2013.

    The PIRC decided to investigate the use of Captor Incapacitant spray during the incident to ascertain if its use was necessary, justified and proportionate in the circumstances.

    PIRC INVESTIGATION

    During the course of the investigation, PIRC investigators obtained and reviewed statements from police witnesses, examined command and control incident logs, CCTV and Body Worn Camera evidence and force standard operating procedures.

    They also obtained and examined Training Records which confirmed that both officers were trained and authorised to use Captor and personal safety training equipment at the time of the incident.

    PIRC FINDINGS

    The investigation finds that:

    • Given the demeanour and actions of the man including the resistance shown to the police officers, the discharge of the Captor Incapacitant spray was proportionate, necessary and justified to ensure the police officer’s safety.
    • To assist and prevent further deterioration of the man’s breathing, a BTP officer administered her personal Salbutamol inhaler to the man. This had the effect of alleviating his breathlessness.                                                                            

    Recommendations

    No recommendations are made.

     

  • 10 May 2021 | Investigations

    Investigation Report: Serious injury following police contact, Dumfries

    BACKGROUND

    About 0020 hours on Friday 30 August 2019, two police officers were on patrol in a marked police car in Dumfries when they signalled to the 19-year-old male driver of a Ford car, who had no lights illuminated on his car, to stop for a routine check.

    The driver of the Ford car failed to comply with the police signal and a vehicle pursuit was instigated along various roads in Dumfries. Whilst travelling on the A701 Edinburgh Road, Dumfries, the driver of the Ford car drove at excessive speeds and failed to stop for a red traffic light signal. At this point the driver of the police car slowed to comply with the red traffic light signal, whereby he lost sight of the Ford car as it increased speed and turned off the A701 Edinburgh Road, into a side street.

    On turning into the street, the officers discovered that the driver of the Ford car had lost control of the car and collided with a wall, resulting in the Ford ending up on its roof. The driver was seriously injured and the front seat passenger was slightly injured.

    The police officers involved provided medical assistance until the arrival of paramedics. The driver and passenger were then taken to Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary for treatment.

    Both were charged with a number of offences in relation to the incident and later convicted. As these proceedings have now concluded, we can now publish this summarised report.

    REFERRAL TO THE PIRC

    On 30 August 2019, Police Scotland referred the incident to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) in terms of Section 33A(c) of the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006 as amended and the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Investigations Procedure, Serious Incidents and Specified Weapons) Regulations 2013 for consideration of investigation.

    As it was not apparent from examination of the initial police referral of the incident how the pursuit was instigated and conducted, the matter was investigated.

    PIRC INVESTIGATION

    During the course of the investigation, PIRC investigators visited the scene, obtained statements from and interviewed relevant police officers and conducted a CCTV survey of the location. They also examined Command and Control incident logs, Airwave radio recordings and training records.

    PIRC FINDINGS

    • When the police officers discovered the man driving the Ford car without lights illuminated they indicated to him to stop. He failed to do so and drove away from the police failing to stop for a red traffic light resulting in a vehicle pursuit.
    • The driver is the holder of a provisional licence and the Ford car was not displaying L plates. The passenger of the car was not qualified to be supervising the man whilst he was driving.
    • The driver had numerous opportunities prior to the crash to stop the car but chose not to do so. He was responsible for the crash and the injuries sustained by himself and the passenger.
    • Govan Area Control Room police staff and the supervisor immediately identified the incident as a vehicle pursuit and controlled the vehicle pursuit in a professional manner.

     

  • 26 March 2021 | Investigations

    Investigation Report: Serious injury following police contact, Kirkcaldy

    BACKGROUND

    On Tuesday 15 October 2019, a 38-year-old man sustained serious injuries when he fell about four metres from a balcony and landed on a paved footpath outside a property in Kirkcaldy.

    Prior to the fall, police had attended at the property after receiving reports of a disturbance

    On arrival, officers were informed that the man inside the flat was in possession of knives and a petrol bomb. The officers attempted to communicate with the man, which resulted in him issuing threats and throwing a number of heavy items from the balcony towards their police vehicle. The officers also observed that the man was in possession of large knives.

    Additional police public order officers arrived and used their shields to form a barrier at the front door of the flat.

    Police officers attempted to de-escalate the situation by engaging the man in conversation, which resulted in him repeatedly striking the door with an array of weapons and shouting that he would kill police officers and himself if they entered the property. The man then retreated from the front door, climbed over the railing of his balcony, lowered himself down and stood on top of the railing of the balcony below. He continued to issue threats and threw a large knife towards officers on the ground.

    Several officers and members of the public then observed the man fall off the railing of the balcony, landing face down on the paved footpath below.

    When officers forced entry to the flat they found a number of items, including knives and two petrol bombs inside. No other person was found within the property.

    An ambulance attended and took the man to hospital. He was reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal (COPFS) in connection with the incident and later convicted. The publication of this report was delayed until these court proceedings were concluded.

    REFERRAL TO THE PIRC

    On 16 October 2019, Police Scotland referred the incident to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) in terms of Section 33A(c) of the Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006 (as amended) and the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Investigations Procedure, Serious Incidents and Specified Weapons) Regulations 2013. Under the act, the Commissioner may investigate serious incidents involving the police where a person has sustained a serious injury.

    PIRC INVESTIGATION

    In conducting this investigation PIRC investigators visited the incident scene, viewed relevant mobile phone footage, obtained statements from police officers, police staff, medical staff and members of the public and seized and examined Command and Control (STORM) logs, Airwave recordings, briefing papers and records from police systems.

    PIRC FINDINGS

    The investigation finds:

    • Police were called to a report of a disturbance at a man’s home in Kirkcaldy. On arrival they were informed that the man within was in possession of petrol bombs and other weapons. The man then threw a number of articles from the balcony at officers below.
    • Specialist public order trained officers then attended and attempted to get the man to open the door and surrender to them. He refused to do so and struck the door with knives and other items while threatening to kill the officers and himself.                                                                                             
    • The man then attempted to escape from the flat by lowering himself from its balcony to the balcony below while throwing a knife at a police officer standing below. The man then lost his balance and fell onto the pavement below sustaining serious injuries.       
    • The police response was necessary and proportionate. Officers were faced with a violent man armed with weapons, who threw knives and other items at them. On later gaining entry to the flat they discovered petrol bombs.
    • Officers conducted themselves professionally throughout the incident.                        
    • The man was solely responsible for the injuries he sustained.                           

    RECOMMENDATIONS

    The Commissioner made no recommendations.

     

     

     

     

  • 26 March 2021 | Investigations

    Investigation Report: Serious injury following police contact, Livingston

    BACKGROUND

    About 0100 hours on Thursday 11 April 2019, two police officers were on patrol in a marked police car in Livingston when they stopped a 4x4 car for a routine check due to a number of recent crimes involving high value cars in the area.

    The officers explained the reason for the stop and undertook Police National Computer (PNC) checks on both men in the car. These checks revealed that there was an apprehension warrant for the 23-year-old front seat passenger, who was informed he was under arrest and asked to step out of the car.

    As officers placed handcuffs on his left wrist, the man struggled violently punching one of the officers on the face. The man then shouted to the driver of the car to drive off and he did so with the other officer hanging out of the car holding onto the front seat passenger.

    The officer managed to use his PAVA spray, causing the driver to stop and get out of the car. The other man then jumped into the driver’s seat and drove off at speed with the officer in the passenger seat of the car. The officer then managed to pull the steering wheel causing the car to come to a stop on the grass verge.

    The 23-year-old man then got out of the car and slammed the car door against the arm of the officer several times causing him to lose his grip. He then ran off with the handcuffs still attached to his wrist. Meanwhile, the other officer had followed the car and arrested the other man (initial driver) when he left the vehicle.

    The 23-year-old was found about 40 minutes later within the rear garden of a nearby house and arrested. He was found to have sustained a severe injury to his left hand. Subsequent enquiry showed that this most likely occurred when the man broke into a nearby hotel.

    The man was taken to hospital by police where it was found he had ‘de-gloved’ and partially severed the small finger (pinky) of his left hand. He then underwent emergency surgery but the finger could not be saved and was amputated. The police officers sustained bruising and swelling as a result of being assaulted.

    Both men man were charged with a number of offences and later convicted.

    The publication of this report was delayed until these court proceedings were concluded.

    REFERRAL TO THE PIRC

    On 11 April 2019, Police Scotland referred the incident to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) in terms of Section 33A(c) of the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006 as amended and the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Investigations Procedure, Serious Incidents and Specified Weapons) Regulations 2013 for consideration of investigation. At the time of the initial referral to the PIRC the exact circumstances of how the man came by his injury were not known and the incident was investigated.

    PIRC INVESTIGATION

    During the course of the investigation, PIRC investigators visited the scene, obtained statements from and interviewed relevant police officers and conducted a CCTV survey of the location. They also examined Command and Control incident logs, Airwave radio recordings and training records.

    PIRC FINDINGS

    The investigation finds:

    • The man was solely responsible for the serious hand injury he sustained.
    • The actions of both men placed the officers in severe danger.
    • The officers displayed courage and determination in attempting to arrest the man.
    • The use of PAVA spray by the officer in the circumstances was necessary and proportionate.

    RECOMMENDATIONS

    The Commissioner made no recommendations.

     

     

  • 25 February 2021 | Investigations

    Investigation Report- Death following police contact, Northern Isles

    BACKGROUND

    In the early hours of 18 July 2020, members of the public alerted police officers to a 34-year- old man lying in the street in a town in the Northern Isles. The officers approached the man and found him asleep and smelling of alcohol. Having roused him, the man was found to be aware of his surroundings and understood what the officers were saying to him. The officers assisted the man to his feet and then walked with him to his nearby flat where they left him alone.

    About 2pm that day, a friend of the man went to his flat and found him dead.

    CCTV footage shows various sightings of the 34-year-old man in the company of friends throughout 17 July 2020 and him leaving a friend’s flat in the early hours of the 18 July 2020, prior to being found by members of the public and the officers.

    REFERRAL TO THE PIRC

    Under the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006 (as amended) and the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Investigations Procedure, Serious Incidents and Specified Weapons) Regulations 2013, all incidents involving a death after police contact must be referred to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) for independent assessment. In this regard on 19 July 2020 Police Scotland referred the incident to the PIRC

    PIRC INVESTIGATION

    The PIRC investigation focused on the police contact with the man until he was found deceased within his flat.

    PIRC Investigators obtained witness statements from the police officers and they examined STORM Command and Control incident logs, Airwave communications, briefing papers and viewed private space CCTV.

    PIRC FINDINGS

    The investigation finds:

    The man died within his home sometime between 1am and 2pm on 18 July 2020. The cause of death was as a result of consuming Buprenorphine and Flubromazolam, a designer drug.

    • At 12.30am on 18 July 2020, police officers found the man asleep, under the influence of alcohol, in the street. On rousing him they found him to lucid, coherent and able to walk unaided.
    • In the officers judgement, although the man was drunk, he was not incapable of taking care of himself. They escorted him the short distance to his home where he was left alone.
    • CCTV evidence shows the man having a significant degree of incapacity although he was capable of walking unaided.
    • It cannot be ascertained if the man consumed the drugs that led to his death prior to or after his contact with the police.
    • Given that the man was able to communicate with the officers, provide his address and walk mostly unaided, the officers determined that he was not so inebriated to arrest him for being drunk and incapable. 
    • In the circumstances the officers acted appropriately and the man’s subsequent death could not have been foreseen.

    RECOMMENDATIONS

    The Commissioner made no recommendations.

  • 23 September 2020 | Investigations

    Investigation report: Taser discharge by police in Dumfries was proportionate

    About 2212 hours on Friday 29 May 2020, a Specially Trained Officer (STO), of Police Scotland, discharged a Taser at a 19-year-old man in Dumfries. At the time of the incident, Coronavirus regulations were in force.

    Investigation report submitted to Police Scotland: Taser discharge by STO, Dumfries, 29 May 2020

    BACKGROUND

    About 2212 hours on Friday 29 May 2020, a Specially Trained Officer (STO), of Police Scotland, discharged a Taser at a 19-year-old man in Dumfries. At the time of the incident, Coronavirus regulations were in force.

    Beforehand, a number of telephone calls were received by Police Scotland reporting a large scale disturbance involving several men fighting with knives. It was also reported that a number of people had been injured.

    Police officers, including an STO, were sent to the incident and on arrival saw the 19-year-old man with a knife.

    Before the officers could instruct the man to drop the knife, he moved towards the STO, who believing that he was in imminent danger, discharged his Taser at him. The initial discharge missed the man who then threw the knife at the officer striking him on the shoulder. The officer discharged his Taser again which had an immediate effect

    The man was arrested and later reported to the Procurator Fiscal.

    REFERRAL TO THE PIRC

    On 1 June 2020, Police Scotland referred the incident to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) in terms of Section 33A(c) of the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006 as amended and the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Investigations Procedure, Serious Incidents and Specified Weapons) Regulations 2013 as a notifiable serious incident.

    PIRC INVESTIGATION

    PIRC Investigators examined statements from civilian and police witnesses, STORM command and control logs, Airwave radio transmissions and the telephone recordings.

    PIRC FINDINGS

    The investigation finds:

    • On arrival, police officers were confronted by a man carrying a knife who shortly before had been reported as being involved in a serious incident involving several people.
    • Before the officers could instruct the man to drop the knife, he moved towards the STO, who believing that he was in imminent danger, discharged his Taser at him. The initial discharge missed the man who then threw the knife at the officer striking him on the shoulder. The officer discharged his Taser again which had an immediate effect.
    • The use of Taser to control the man and enable his arrest was necessary, proportionate and justified.

    RECOMMENDATIONS

    No recommendations were made.

  • 11 September 2020 | Investigations

    Death following police contact at Harthill Services on 29 March 2020

    During the early hours of 29 March 2020, police saw a 36-year-old man within a car parked dangerously on a dual carriageway in Edinburgh.

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  • 20 August 2020 | Investigations

    Serious injury following police contact in Edinburgh on 1 May 2020

    About 1.20 am on Friday 1 May, 2020, police were sent to an address in Edinburgh after receiving a report of a man breaking into garden sheds. The 35-year-old fled as police arrived and was tracked by a police dog which found him hiding in bushes.

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