Police Scotland aim to deliver the highest possible standards of policing in order to keep people in our communities safe. If you feel we aren’t meeting those standards, you have the right to make a complaint.
What is a complaint?
There are two broad types of complaint you can make:
1. Complaint about staff (police officer, police staff, cadet or special constable).
Where a member of Police Scotland has failed to meet the standards you expect or if you believe they have behaved unfairly or incorrectly.
2. Complaint about quality of service
These are complaints about how we do things, e.g. our policies and procedures or the delivery of our service and the outcome (for example, you may think the police are not paying attention to a particular concern or are taking too long to respond to a call).
For the full definition of a complaint see the The Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006 (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2006/10/contents). Section 34(2) defines a Complaint about the Police as:
"A statement (whether oral, written or electronic) expressing dissatisfaction about an act or omission by the Authority, by the Police Service or by a person who at the time of the act or omission was a person serving with the Police".
Who can make a complaint?
- A member of the public who claims to be the person in relation to whom the act or omission took place.
- A member of the public not falling within the above category, who claims to have been adversely affected by the act or omission.
- A person acting on behalf of a person falling within the above, e.g. solicitor, parent of child.
- A member of the public who claims to have witnessed the act or omission.
If you prefer to be represented by another person, e.g. a solicitor, an elected representative, community group or some other organisation, that is acceptable and will not prevent you from making a complaint providing it is clear that you have given your authority for that person, group or organisation to act on your behalf.
Such organisations include:
However, at some point, we may require to take a statement from you personally. In that instance, you can, if you wish be accompanied by either a friend or a representative. If you are under 16 years of age you will be interviewed with a parent or other responsible adult present. If necessary we can arrange for an interpreter to be present to assist.
If you would like this information in an alternative format or language - please phone us on 101 to discuss your needs.