Complaints about the PCCS

If you are unhappy with our service

We try to address all enquiries and applications in line with our published Standards of Service.  If you think we have not met those standards or you are unhappy about any aspect of our service, we want to hear from you so that we can put it right and learn lessons to prevent it happening again.

As part of our formal complaint handling process described below, we keep a record of all complaints about our service and use it to measure and improve our service. Download a copy of "A guide for any complaints about the PCCS".

We understand that people may act out of character in times of trouble or distress. There may have been upsetting or distressing circumstances leading up to a complaint coming to our office. We do not view behaviour as unacceptable just because a complainant is forceful or determined. In fact, we accept that being persistent can be a positive advantage when pursuing a complaint.

However, the actions of complainants who are angry, demanding or persistent may result in unreasonable demands on our office or unacceptable behaviour towards PCCS staff. It is these actions that we consider unacceptable and aim to manage under our Unacceptable Actions Policy.

Types of complaints

We can consider a complaint if you think we have:

  • treated you unfairly or rudely
  • failed to explain things to you properly
  • caused unreasonable delays

If your complaint is about a member of staff, that person will be consulted about the incident and asked for their views but they will not be involved in looking into the complaint.

What you should do if you have a complaint

Contact us as soon as possible and within twenty working days of you becoming aware of the matter.  This will allow us to investigate your concerns promptly. 

In the first instance, please contact the person that you have been dealing with to give them the opportunity to address your concerns.  If they do not resolve the problem to your satisfaction or if you do not feel comfortable speaking to that person, you can make a complaint to us by writing to:

Head of Corporate Services
Hamilton House
Hamilton Business Park
Caird Park

Please include as much information as you can to help us investigate the matter thoroughly.

What we will do

We will acknowledge your letter within two working days and aim to reply fully within twenty working days of receiving your letter.  If we cannot complete an investigation into your complaint within this timescale, we will write to you to explain why and tell you when you can expect a full response.

Our investigation into your complaint will include assessing the evidence available including:

  • our performance against our published Standards of Service
  • our authority to act within the framework of the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006
  • transcripts of telephone calls
  • where appropriate, interview the staff member(s) involved
  • investigation of all correspondence and other written records

Following our internal investigation we will write to you to tell you about any action we will take as a result.  We will not provide information about any action taken against any member(s) of our staff.

If you are still unhappy

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) is the final stage for complaints about most organisations that provide public services in Scotland, including the PCCS. Their service is independent, free and confidential.

The SPSO will normally only consider a complaint after you have completed the PCCS' complaints procedure.

The SPSO cannot normally look at complaints:

  • more than 12 months after you became aware of the matter you want to complain about, or
  • that have been or are being considered in court. 

If you remain dissatisfied once you have completed the PCCS' complaints procedure, contact the SPSO for advice and request a complaint form. His contact details are:

4 Melville Street

You can also write to him at the following Freepost address:
Freepost EH641

Telephone:  0800 377 7330
Fax:  0800 377 7331
Text:  0790 049 4372