Your complaint

What can the PCCS do?

If you have a complaint about an individual police officer or civilian staff member the PCCS can review the way that the police organisation involved has handled your complaint. 

We can also consider complaints about the way a police organisation responded to a complaint about how it has delivered a policing service.

You can ask the PCCS to review your complaint if you were:

  • affected by something that led to a formal complaint about a police organisation or
  • you witnessed something that led to a formal complaint about a police organisation

Which police organisations can I complain about?

A police organisation could be a police force, police authority or policing agency. 

The PCCS can consider complaints about all eight Scottish police forces:

  • Central Scotland Police
  • Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary
  • Fife Constabulary
  • Grampian Police
  • Lothian and Borders Police
  • Northern Constabulary
  • Strathclyde Police
  • Tayside Police

The Commissioner can also review complaints about the eight police authorities, one for each police force, who are responsible for resourcing police forces and investigating complaints about senior police officers.  Click here for contact details for the police authorities. 

The PCCS can also review complaints about the undernoted police bodies, in respect of their Scottish operations:

  • British Transport Police and British Transport Police Authority
  • Civil Nuclear Constabulary and Civil Nuclear Police Authority
  • Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency
  • Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency
  • Scottish Police Services Authority
  • Serious Organised Crime Agency
  • UK Border Agency

The PCCS hopes to have agreements in place shortly to review complaints made about the police powers used by:

  • HM Revenue and Customs

For further information on the role of these police organisations please click here. 

Are there any complaints that the PCCS can't consider?

The PCCS does not have the power to review a complaint which suggests that a police organisation, police officer or civilian staff member has committed a crime.  These complaints will continue to be considered by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.  For further information on its role click here.

We cannot review complaints from individuals about employment or staffing issues concerning their service with a police organisation.

Although the PCCS can review the way in which a complaint has been dealt with by a police organisation, police officer or civilian staff member, we do not have the power to investigate a complaint about the police.  Please click here for information about our complaint handling process and possible outcomes to a complaint handling review.   

If your complaint is about a matter or organisation that we cannot review, we will try to point you to another organisation which may be able to help you.  There is a list of other organisations which may be able to help you on our Links page. 

For further information on the remit and powers of the PCCS please see the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006