Number of Police Complaints with changed heads of complaint upheld/not upheld.

Response to this request is delayed. By law, Police Scotland should normally have responded promptly and by (details)

Ms S Kerr (Account suspended)

Dear Police Scotland,

Background

It is fact that when PSD arranged for a Police Inspector to investigate a series of complaints against the West Lothian Command, that a witness identified that the Inspector had changed the whole context of the Head of Complaints (HOC), ensuring that the investigation would ensure that no complaint was upheld. This type of professional misconduct and malfeasance is congruous with Dame Elish Angiolini’s recent report of the horrific handling of Police Complaints System.

Per FOISA 2002 please advise me of the following information contained in your records:

1. The total amount of complaints received by Police Scotland West Lothian Command that were serious enough to be investigated by PSD in 2018/2019, 2019/2020 to date.

2. Please break these figures down month on month and week on week?

3. Please advise in total how many complainers there were against the number of complaints for each financial year?

4. Please advise how many head of complaint were altered after the complainer had been interviewed and signed of the HOC sheet? (after which the officer types the HOC sheet up, leaving it open to be abused).

5. How many Complaints were upheld for both periods?

6. How many were not upheld?

Please acknowledge receipt of this request and I shall look forward to your response within 20 working days.

Yours faithfully,

Ms S Kerr

Police Scotland

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Samantha Kerr left an annotation ()

Our Ref: IM-FOI-2020-2242
Date: 13th January 2021

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (SCOTLAND) ACT 2002
I refer to your recent request for information which has been handled in accordance with the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.
For ease of reference, your request is replicated below together with the response.
1. The total amount of complaints received by Police Scotland West Lothian Command that were serious enough to be investigated by PSD in 2018/2019, 2019/2020 to date.
Table 1: Criminal Complaint Cases in West Lothian, by financial year received 1
Financial Year Number of Complaint Cases
2018/19
6
2019/20
9
1 Data is based on the case received date.
2. Please break these figures down month on month and week on week?
Table 2: Criminal Complaint Cases in West Lothian, by month received (for 2018/19 and 2019/20 financial years only) 1 2
Month Received Number of Complaint Cases
May 2018
1
September 2018
1
November 2018
1
January 2019
1
February 2019
1
March 2019
1
April 2019
2
June 2019
2
July 2019
1
August 2019
1
November 2019
1
January 2020
1
March 2020
1
Grand Total
15

1 Data is based on the case received date.
2 Data capture covers the period of 01/04/2018 to 31/03/2020 inclusive. Months within this period not listed in the table above have zero complaint cases.
Table 3: Criminal Complaint Cases in West Lothian, by week received (for 2018/19 and 2019/20 financial years only) 1 2

Week Received Number of Complaint Cases
Week 6 - 30/04/2018 to 06/05/2018
1
Week 24 - 03/09/2018 to 09/09/2018
1
Week 32 - 29/10/2018 to 04/11/2018
1
Week 44 - 21/01/2019 to 27/01/2019
1
Week 48 - 18/02/2019 to 24/02/2019
1
Week 51 - 11/03/2019 to 17/03/2019
1
Week 56 - 15/04/2019 to 21/04/2019
2
Week 66 - 24/06/2019 to 30/06/2019
2
Week 68 - 08/07/2019 to 14/07/2019
1
Week 74 - 19/08/2019 to 25/08/2019
1
Week 85 - 04/11/2019 to 10/11/2019
1
Week 93 - 30/12/2019 to 05/01/2020
1
Week 103 - 09/03/2020 to 15/03/2020
1
Grand Total
15

1 Data is based on the case received date.
2 Week breakdowns are based upon a Monday to Sunday (inclusive). Data capture covers the period of 01/04/2018 to 31/03/2020 inclusive. Weeks within this period not listed in the table above have zero complaint cases.

3. Please advise in total how many complainers there were against the number of complaints for each financial year?
Table 4: Number of Complainers against Criminal Complaint Cases in West Lothian, by financial year received 1
Financial Year Number of Complainers
2018/19
6
2019/20
10
1 Data is based on the case received date.

2 Please note that each case may include multiple complainers, therefore complainer totals may vary from case totals.

4. Please advise how many head of complaint were altered after the complainer had been interviewed and signed of the HOC sheet? (after which the officer types the HOC sheet up, leaving it open to be abused).
I can advise you that Police Scotland does not hold the information requested by you. In terms of Section 17 of the Act, I can confirm that the information you seek is not held by Police Scotland.
By way of explanation, during the course of a complaint investigation it is considered best practice to note a full statement from the complainer. The statement should cover all the complaints contained within the initial correspondence, and should note any allegation that the complainer no longer wishes to pursue.
There should be a clear understanding between the person noting the complaint and the complainer as to what is being investigated.
At the conclusion of the statement there must be a summary of the agreed 'Heads of Complaint Under Investigation' and the complainer should be asked to complete and sign a 'Heads of Complaint' form which lists the description of each allegation. This document is considered as the agreement between the complainer and the investigation officer and sets out exactly what is to be investigated.
The Heads of Complaint form should only be changed/altered in consultation with the complainer in the event that they wish an amendment or an addition, or if during the course of the complaint investigation, the investigating officer identifies any additional complaints.
There will be cases where the complainer is not fully engaged in the complaint process ie, refusal to provide additional information or sporadic contact with the investigating officer. In these circumstances, each case will be assessed and the Heads of Complaint form may be compiled with the information available in order to progress the complaint investigation.
The agreed Heads of Complaint form allows for each allegation to be investigated and assessed on its own merits and forms part of the final letter of response
If the complainer is not satisfied with the final letter of response and/or the determinations made, they have the right to apply to the Police Investigations and Review Commisioner (PIRC) for review as to how the complaint has been handled.
Please see the link below to the Complaints about the Police Standard Operating Procedure for further information regarding complaint handling processes:
Complaints about the Police SOP
Additionally, please find the link below containing guidance on how to make a complaint:
How to Make a Complaint - Police Scotland

5. How many Complaints were upheld for both periods?

Complaint Cases are not resulted as 'Upheld' or otherwise. This only applies to the allegations listed against each Complaint Case (i.e. 'Heads of Complaint').
Table 5: Allegation Results against Criminal Complaint Cases in West Lothian, by financial year closed 1

Allegation Result 2018/19 2019/20
Upheld
0
0
Not Upheld
8
17
Abandoned
0
10
Withdrawn
2
0
Total Allegations Closed
10
27

1 Data is based on the allegation closed date. Data may therefore include allegations received prior to the financial year these were closed in.
2 Each case may include multiple allegations, therefore allegation totals may vary from case totals.
6. How many were not upheld?

Please see Table 5, in the response to Question 5 above.
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Samantha Kerr left an annotation ()

This request was also sent via email direct to Police Scotland and an INTERNAL REVIEW has been requested as follows:

Dear Sirs,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of FOI Request 20-2242 - Number of Police Complaints with changed heads of complaint upheld/not upheld.

I am dissatisfied with your response to Section 4.

Please advise how many head of complaint were altered after the complainer had been interviewed and signed of the HOC sheet? (after which the officer types the HOC sheet up, leaving it open to be abused).

You do hold information relating to a civilian complaining about the HOC being changed and holding evidence of the full complaint not being investigated properly. Therefore you are unable to apply exemption 17.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence can be found at Number of Police Complaints with changed heads of complaint upheld/not upheld. - a Freedom of Information request to Police Scotland - WhatDoTheyKnow

Yours faithfully

Ms S Kerr

Mr Henry left an annotation ()

So the requestor is TELLING the Police which information they hold now? 😂 Why bother with the FOI request in the first place if you know it all 🤪