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

    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

  • 22 March 2022 | Our Business

    FOISA Response No. 731 – expenses

    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:

    “Could you please tell me how much was claimed by your employees as expenses for the years 2019-2020 and 2020-21, and also what was claimed for the 6 months April to sept this year.”

    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 expenses claimed by employees for the periods requested are as follows.

    Period

    Total Expenses claimed

    2019 / 2020

    £8,705.44

    2020 / 2021

    £1,733.04

    April to September 2021

    £2,254.42