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. 

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

  • 22 March 2022 | Our Business

    Senior Management Team Meeting - 15 February 2022

    Via video conference

    Attendees:

    Michelle Macleod   Commissioner

    Phil Chapman        Director of Operations

    Billy Little              T/AJ Head of Investigations

    Sharon Smit          Head of Corporate Services

    Ilya Zharov            Head of Reviews and Policy

    Laura Duguid         Finance Manager

    Carol Crombie       Secretariat

    Apologies:

    Minutes of previous meeting

    Minutes of last SMT meeting were approved.

    Action Log

    Actions were noted and updated accordingly.

    Commissioner’s update

    In addition to the update paper, the Commissioner advised on:

    Public Inquiry – a hearing on whether undertakings can be given for the key officers involved will now proceed on 22 February.

    AAC – minutes of the last meeting have now been finalised and circulated to the Chair.

    Disclosure of information – a meeting was held with ACC Speirs around disclosure of information and it was agreed to set up a tripartite group with PIRC, COPFS and Police Scotland to agree data principals and  a common approach to dealing with SARs. PIRC Head of Legal Service and Information Officer will represent PIRC

    Director of Operations update

    Articles 3 and 5 Process Review – staff from the PIRC Assessment Team are scheduled to meet with Police Scotland to look at shared learning on some issues.  It was noted that timescales for producing the report by 1 March may not be possible but it was hoped that the recommendations will be presented in the next two weeks.  Separate meetings are scheduled with COPFS and Police Scotland.

    Business Rules – discussed in agenda item 3

    Hybrid working – return to hybrid working resumed 14 February. SS asked that the process around desk bookings is reiterated to staff.

    Accountable Officer

    Risk Register – the register has been updated following the last Risk meeting and feedback from AAC.  SS proposed that going forward the Risk Register would be circulated for comment two weeks prior to SMT and any changes or updates can be agreed at SMT   There were no objections to this proposal.

    There was a discussion on staff involvement, through various groups, to identify risks to feed into the Risk Register group.

    Action:  Risk Register to be circulated two weeks prior to SMT and any updates approved at SMT meetings

    Audit Log – SS advised of three outstanding actions which will be presented to AAC for sign off and she is awaiting feedback on two further audits.

    She also advised that dates are currently being progressed for an information/risk session to be delivered to AAC members.

    Finance

    Management Accounts  - LD presented the monthly management accounts with no questions raised. In addition, she shared an overview of the previous PIRC annual budgets, highlighting the 72% increase over the last four years and the implications of underspends during this period.  She highlighted the use of underspends in relation to maternity cover, cost of living and pension increases as well as rising costs for IT and system upgrades. The slides demonstrated the overspend anticipated should there be no further uplifts 

    Communications

    There was no comment regarding the submitted update paper.

    Reviews

    Performance Report - IZ presented the performance report showing the outstanding cases together with the current live cases.  He advised that the new initial assessment process is now established. PC commented that this may affect the new process for statutory business rules and will ensure this is captured.

    The Commissioner advised that AAC members have requested that, going forward, that they are also provided with the numbers currently under review together with the outstanding cases. 

    Engagement – regular meetings continue with NCHWG and PSD

    Audits - work is progressing in relation to audits with the ToR now agreed.

    Investigations

    Performance Report - BL advised that Articles 3 and 5 referrals were having an impact on the Investigations workload and the total number of investigations to date has surpassed last year’s final total.  Current workload shows 45 live investigations

    There was a discussion around investigations involving footage from body worn cameras.

    Engagement continues with partner agencies

    Corporate Service

    Performance Report - SS presented the performance stats and highlighted the impact on the attendance stats due to staff on long term sick absence.

    She asked managers to relay to teams the importance of adding a reason for every flexi adjustment.  This is an area for audit this year and she emphasised the importance of this being managed appropriately.

    Recruitment – interviews are being carried out for two posts this week and two staff are due to take up their positions at the end of this month.

    Pay Policy - This has been updated to include the new pay scales, there were no further amendments.  The changes to the policy were approved.

    Fair work - SS explained this was a Scottish Government initiative around the health and livelihood of workers across Scotland. The Staff Representative Group has completed the SG questionnaire and will consider the outcomes on how PIRC perform against each criteria. Thereafter, a statement is required to be added to the PIRC website to show what PIRC are doing under each of the categories.

    PIRC Skills Profile - This paper has been circulated for consideration. SS advised this was a way to look at what skills staff currently have, what are required for each job role, to look at any gaps and prepare a Training Plan. The Training Coordinator and departmental training contacts will work on this. First line managers will also be involved. She asked that SMT consider the documents and respond by 22 February. She is happy to speak to any staff who may have questions.

    Action: SMT to consider the Skills Profile and provide feedback by 22 February.

    AOCB

    None

    Date of next meeting – 15 March 2022.

     

  • 22 March 2022 | Our Business

    FOISA Response No. 764 – number of complaints, staffing and budgetary levels of the PIRC

    Where relevant, we publish our responses to Freedom of Information requests under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).

    This response addressed the following query:

    “Can you please make available to me any statistics and reports regarding annual complaints made directly to the PIRC or forwarded to the PIRC by the relevant bodies. In addition can you please make available to me any statistics or reports regarding the annual staffing and budgetary level of the PIRC.”

    The PIRC has considered this as a request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (“FOISA”). An application for information held by public authorities under section 1 of FOISA requires that a public authority release all information held, subject to any applicable exemptions.

    I can confirm we hold this information. Details on the number of complaints received, staffing levels and annual budget is available in the Annual Reports and Accounts reports on our website. Reports for the financial years 2015/2016 up to the most recently published report 2020/2021 are available by clicking this link, or by selecting:

    Publications
    Our Business
    Select “Annual Reports and Accounts” from the drop down list
    then filter results

    The information for the period 2021/2022 will be published later in the year.

  • 22 March 2022 | Our Business

    FOISA Response No. 757 – Taser referral criteria

    Where relevant, we publish our responses to Freedom of Information requests under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).

    This response addressed the following query:

    “Please could you advise on the referral criteria for Police Scotland use of TASER?”

    The PIRC has considered this as a request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (“FOISA”). An application for information held by public authorities under section 1 of FOISA requires that a public authority release all information held, subject to any applicable exemptions.

    Under Section 17 of FOISA, I can confirm that we hold this information.

    Police Scotland only require to refer use of Taser to the PIRC when it is discharged by an officer. There is no requirement to refer if the weapon is pointed or presented at a person.

  • 22 March 2022 | Our Business

    FOISA Response No. 755 – complaint handling review reports

    Where relevant, we publish our responses to Freedom of Information requests under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).

    This response addressed the following query:

    “I would like copies of all the redacted complaints handling reviews (CHRs) from 19th August 2021 (PIRC/00609/20) until 9th February 2022 (PIRC/00198/21) inclusive.”

    The PIRC has considered this as a request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (“FOISA”). An application for information held by public authorities under section 1 of FOISA requires that a public authority release all information held, subject to any applicable exemptions.

    Please find copies of the CHRs you have requested attached to the email which issues this letter.

  • 22 March 2022 | Our Business

    FOISA Response No. 749 – staff training

    Where relevant, we publish our responses to Freedom of Information requests under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).

    This response addressed the following query:

    “What training do staff receive before dealing with the public and or their complaints about the police?”

    The PIRC has considered this as a request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (“FOISA”). An application for information held by public authorities under section 1 of FOISA requires that a public authority release all information held, subject to any applicable exemptions.

    I can confirm that we hold this information.

    All new staff are recruited based on their experience and qualifications relevant to the role. This can include customer service and communication skills for positions that deal directly with the public. All staff complete a two-week induction programme on organisational procedures as well as specific in-house and external training dependant on role. Staff are then closely supervised and monitored for a nine-month probation period. On-going appraisals or client feedback can highlight any further training needs.

  • 22 March 2022 | Our Business

    FOISA Response No. 748 – outcome of complaints

    Where relevant, we publish our responses to Freedom of Information requests under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).

    This response addressed the following query:

    “If complaints have been upheld, what was the outcome and or reprimands issued?”

    The PIRC has considered this as a request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (“FOISA”). An application for information held by public authorities under section 1 of FOISA requires that a public authority release all information held, subject to any applicable exemptions.

    Under Section 17 of FOISA, I can confirm that we hold this information. For most upheld complaints we offer an apology to the person making the complaint. Many of those which were upheld in the past related our failure in complying with our timescales when responding to police complaints due to a high number of applications. Any PIRC complaints which arise as result of staff actions are brought to the attention of the line manager and corrective advice provided.

  • 22 March 2022 | Our Business

    FOISA Response No. 747 – complaints received against the PIRC

    Where relevant, we publish our responses to Freedom of Information requests under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).

    This response addressed the following query:

    “How many complaints were made about PIRC for the last 5 years?”

    The PIRC has considered this as a request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (“FOISA”). An application for information held by public authorities under section 1 of FOISA requires that a public authority release all information held, subject to any applicable exemptions.

    I can confirm we hold this information. The number of complaints received about PIRC for the last five years is outlined in the table below. Note that the 2021/22 figure is up to the date of your request, 31 January 2022.

      2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
    Number of complaints received 12 21 21 12 17

  • 22 March 2022 | Our Business

    FOISA Response No. 745 – complaint handling review reports

    Where relevant, we publish our responses to Freedom of Information requests under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).

    This response addressed the following query:

    “I would like to request access to the full reports: PIRC/00292/21, PIRC/00157/21 and PIRC/00011/21 that were published on the 25th of January.”

    The PIRC has considered this as a request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (“FOISA”). An application for information held by public authorities under section 1 of FOISA requires that a public authority release all information held, subject to any applicable exemptions.

    I can confirm that we hold this information. The anonymised versions of the requested PDF reports are attached to this email.

  • 22 March 2022 | Our Business

    FOISA Response No. 743 – complaints upheld

    Where relevant, we publish our responses to Freedom of Information requests under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).

    This response addressed the following query:

    “From the creation of PIRC, how many complaints have PIRC fully upheld against Police Scotland versus how many have been made?”

    The PIRC has considered this as a request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (“FOISA”). An application for information held by public authorities under section 1 of FOISA requires that a public authority release all information held, subject to any applicable exemptions.

    Under Section 17 of FOISA, I can confirm that we hold this information.

    Following the conclusion of a complaint handling review we will determine what complaints the policing body have “reasonably handled” or “not reasonably handled”. The number of complaints made and the percentage of complaints not reasonably handled is below. Note these are the total figures for all policing bodies, not only Police Scotland. The 2021/22 figures are up to the end of November 2021.

      2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
    Complaints made 600 919 735 903 708 527 850 866 645
    % Complaints Not Reasonably Handled 47% 54% 48% 45% 46.9% 56% 38% 29% 32%

  • 22 March 2022 | Our Business

    FOISA Response No. 742 – complaints process

    Where relevant, we publish our responses to Freedom of Information requests under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).

    This response addressed the following query:

    “Can you give me the details for your complaints process, who oversees PIRC, how to make a SAR and FOI or equivalents and what is available to me for compensation or similar.”

    The PIRC has considered this as a request under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (“FOISA”). An application for information held by public authorities under section 1 of FOISA requires that a public authority release all information held, subject to any applicable exemptions.

    I can confirm that we hold the majority of this information.

    Details of out complaints process is attached to this email. Information on the management structure of PIRC and how to submit an information request under the Data Protection Act 2018 or the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 is included below. Finally, PIRC does not offer compensation or similar as a result of upheld complaints either against the Police or PIRC itself. I suggest you take legal advice if you wish to pursue this.

    Management Structure of PIRC

    The organisation is led by the Commissioner, Michelle Macleod and Phil Chapman is the Director of Operations.

    The Senior Management Team is supported by the following Heads of Department:
    Head of Investigations – John McSporran
    Head of Reviews and Policy – Ilya Zharov
    Head of Corporate Services – Sharon Smit

    Corporate Governance is overseen by our Audit and Accountability Committee, and we also report to the Justice Directorate of the Scottish Government from whom we receive our funding.

    Complaints about our organisation can be made via email or post, however before doing so we would encourage you to familiarise yourself with the definition of a service complaint. Details of our complaints process is attached alongside this letter.

    Submitting an Information Request

    The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 gives you the right to access official information held by public authorities. The Act also requires Scottish public bodies to produce and maintain a publication scheme.

    A publication scheme is:

    • A commitment to make information routinely available, without waiting for someone to specifically request it.
    • A guide to the information we publish, or intend to publish - not limited to printed information, but including other formats, such as electronic.
    • A means of enabling you to understand better what information is available to you and how to access the information you seek.

    The Police Investigations & Review Commissioner has adopted the Model Publication Scheme produced by the Scottish Information Commissioner. This scheme forms the basis of the PIRC Guide to Information.

    The purpose of the PIRC Guide to Information is to:

    • Allow you to see what information is available and what is not available.
    • State what charges may be applied for information requests.
    • Explain how to find the information easily.
    • Provide contact details for enquiries and to get help with accessing the information.
    • Explain how to request information we hold that has not been published.
    • View the full PIRC Guide to Information. Alternatively contact us and we will post a copy to you.

    If you wish to access information under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, which is not available under our publication scheme, you must make your request in writing or in any form that can be kept for future use, for example, an audio recording or video tape. Please send your request to:

    Information Officer
    Police Investigations & Review Commissioner
    Hamilton House
    Hamilton Business Park
    Hamilton
    ML3 0QA

    Email: informationrequests@pirc.gov.scot

    The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as amended by the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) gives you rights to request and receive your own personal data. A request for your personal information is called a Subject Access Request.

    The PIRC will consider your request in accordance with the requirements of the GDPR/DPA. As a request under the DPA is for personal information we may ask for proof of identity. You can also use the Subject Access Request form available on our website at https://pirc.scot/about-us/our-organisation/freedom-of-information-data-protection/ and send it to:

    Information Officer
    PIRC
    Hamilton House
    Hamilton Business Park
    Hamilton
    ML3 0QA
    Email: informationrequests@pirc.gov.scot