23 June 2021 | Our Business
FOISA Response No.650 - police handling 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:
“With current information technology, a complaint should be entered into a database with default deadlines for specific actions to be taken. What automated processes do Police Scotland have in place? And why did they fail in this instance? If no protocols were in place, why weren't they?”
The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) has considered this to be a request under the Freedom of Information Scotland Act (FOISA). Requests made under FOISA are for information held by a public body, and all relevant recorded information must be considered for release.
Under Section 17 of FOISA, I can confirm we hold some information which would meet the scope of your request. Please find below an extract of the Police Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), which addresses your queries.
6.3.3 All complaint must be submitted to PSD on a Complaints Capture Form within 24 hrs of receipt, whereupon the complaint will be recorded, assessed and allocated. Once completed the Complaints Capture Form is automatically sent to the appropriate PSD Office by e-mail. (Staff in receipt of a complaint from a member of the public should not use the ‘Police Complaints Form’ on the Police Scotland Website which is for the public to use. The Complaints Capture Form on the front page of the Intranet must be used). Where the complaint is received in writing or by e-mail the correspondence must be sent to PSD the same day it is received.
6.3.4 Once PSD receive a complaint about the police, contact will be made with the complainer by telephone, wherever possible within three working days, and in the case of minor, non-serious complaints, and effort to resolve the complaint by telephone will be made. This is known as (Early Resolution.) When Early Resolution has not been achieved the complaint will be allocated for local investigation. Where the complaint appears to relate to a period of time in police custody the PSD Complaints Assessment and Resolution Unit will arrange for any available Custody CCTV to be retained for the enquiry officer.
6.3.5 Recording arrangement will require to be maintained by Divisions and Departments to support the management and monitoring of complaints which are allocated for investigation.
If however you still have questions in relation to police procedures, you may find that Police Scotland can assist you. In order to make an information to them, the contact details for the FOISA unit are given below:
Freedom of information requests must include your full name and can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or to:
FOI -Information Management Police Scotland Clyde Gateway 2 French Street Glasgow G40 4EH
YOUR RIGHT TO REQUEST A REVIEW
You have a right under the Act to request a review of this decision. If you wish to exercise this right, you must do so within forty working days following the date of receipt of this decision. Your request for a review must be in writing and you must specify your name and address for correspondence. You must also identify the decision that you wish to be reviewed. Should you wish to request a review, please address your request to:
Police Investigations & Review Commissioner
2nd Floor, Hamilton House
Hamilton ML3 0QA
Your review will be undertaken by an individual not involved in the original decision making process.
YOUR RIGHT OF APPEAL
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of a review, you have a right under the Act to appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner. If you wish to do so, you must appeal to the Commissioner within six months following the date of receipt of the review notice. The Commissioner’s contact details are as follows:
The Scottish Information Commissioner
Tel: 01334 464610