Tuesday, 12 April 2016


Mr E Cairns

72 Hillhouse Street


2 October 2010



Mr J Crawford

Case Officer


PO Box 26300




Your ref:    PCCS/00448/08



Dear Mr Crawford,

I refer to your letter dated 29 September 2010.

Here is a reminder of the Commissioner’s statements published in the press:


The Scotsman     13 September 2010

‘......... complaints commissioner John McNeil ........... also said that, because of the "substantial amount of resources" police had spent dealing with him, they should no longer consider or respond to his complaints. Mr McNeil said: "I did not make this recommendation lightly. As a former human rights commissioner, I am, perhaps more than most, an ardent supporter of protecting the rights of individuals. However, it was time to draw a line.’’

"Substantial resources had been directed towards trying to understand and resolve the various complaints over an extended period of time.’’

"Everyone has the right to have a complaint considered, but I am also mindful that there will be occasions where resolution will not be possible, no matter how long the correspondence continues. This was one such occasion."

The Herald     13 September 2010

“A substantial amount of resources has been expended by Strathclyde Police in dealing with the above complaints, which in the vast majority of cases have been dealt with reasonably. In the particular circumstances of this complaint, the Commissioner recommends that Strathclyde Police no longer considers or responds to any complaint made by the applicant which is directly related to those listed in this report.’’

“The Commissioner does not make this recommendation lightly, but for the reasons stated considers it necessary to do so.”


These comments are consistent with an erroneous view that a very large number of complaints had been submitted by me to Strathclyde Police over an extensive period of time.

The following quotation from the report, which you now say does not mean 82 letters of complaint had been written, does in fact say that, and indeed that is how the newspapers have understood it and have reported it:

‘‘During the period 2001 to 2009 the applicant has written some 82 letters to Strathclyde Police in which he makes both criminal and non criminal complaints about the police.’’

This may reasonably be simplified to:

‘‘....... the applicant has written some 82 letters in which he makes ............ complaints about the police.’’

Your angle that the report did not actually say that I sent 82 letters of complaint to Strathclyde Police is simply false. Perhaps you need to go on an English course. Your comprehension is fundamentally flawed. This inability to express things accurately is a major drawback for a report writer. That would appear to be the basic reason for your report to the Commissioner being rather obviously unreliable and misleading hogwash. The Commissioner apparently swallowed your lies on this point and on several other points.                         

You also state in your recent letter:

‘This passage reflects the number of letters sent by you to Strathclyde Police and not the number of complaints made.’

Oh really? Why then did you say that I wrote the 82 letters making complaints? You knew that the vast majority of those letters actually had nothing to do with police complaints. But you clearly reported to the Commissioner that they all did and thereby severely damaged my professional reputation. In due course the consequences of that deliberate falsehood will also damage the Commissioner’s professional reputation and your own professional reputation.   

Further proof of your misrepresentation on this point is provided in the Commissioner’s letter to me dated 16 September 2010 in which he includes the following:

‘In your letter dated 13 September 2010 you take exception to the reference in my report to you having written 82 letters of complaint to Strathclyde Police. During the course of my review the police files received confirm that 82 letters were recorded as having been sent by you to Strathclyde Police during the period 28 July 2001 to 23 January 2009. This is a matter of fact.’


Examination of this extract confirms that the Commissioner does not refute that in his report he had referred to 82 letters of complaint that I had written to Strathclyde Police. He clearly asserts the opposite, that this was ‘a matter of fact’. He undoubtedly understood correctly that I had taken exception to what the Commissioner himself described as:

 ‘......... the reference in my report to you having written 82 letters of complaint to Strathclyde Police’.

The PCCS report is therefore most definitely inaccurate and defamatory towards me in that respect and in several other respects as already detailed to you. Unless these corrections are made I will arrange for writs to be served on the Commissioner and on you in your personal capacities by the end of this month.

Your letter at least now admits that I did not send 82 letters of complaint to Strathclyde Police. But, contrary to your attempted denial, the PCCS report did actually say that.

A reasonable suspicion arises that you tried to undermine my credibility by knowingly promulgating derogatory falsehoods about me.

In particular, you have given the false impression that I wasted a considerable amount of public resources thereby, which is of course very damaging to my professional reputation. Responses from the general public have lambasted me for that as a result of your dishonesty and ineptitude.

The PCCS’s recommendation to Strathclyde Police appears to be largely predicated upon the falsehood about 82 letters of complaint.

Chief Superintendent John Pollock was quoted in the Scotsman on 13 September 2010 in the following terms:

‘The decision to restrict this member of the public’s access to the complaints process was taken reluctantly and was based on the need to concentrate scarce police resources to the investigation to bona fide complaints. We welcome the PCC’s findings.’

As I stated in my letter dated 13 September 2010:

‘I have most certainly written nothing like 82 letters of complaint against Strathclyde Police. Have Strathclyde Police taken time to respond to 82 complaints from me? Absolutely not.’

‘You cannot possibly produce 82 letters of complaint from me against Strathclyde Police because that grossly exaggerated number is simply a calumnious fabrication.’

‘As can very easily be verified I submitted only two application forms to the PCCS for review and these were in respect of only two complaints against Strathclyde Police. The following statement in your report is a blatant distortion of the truth:’

‘‘In all, the applicant has asked the Commissioner to review 12 complaints.’’

‘The first application form was submitted to the PCCS on 17 November 2008 and the second on 21 June 2010.’

‘The exact texts of the sections in these forms containing details of the matters I submitted for review by the PCCS are replicated below:’


‘17 November 2008’




‘21 June 2010’   






‘These details related to only two specific complaints that I had submitted earlier to Strathclyde Police and in response to which I had received two corresponding letters from Strathclyde Police, one dated 19 September 2008 and one dated 11 June 2010.’

‘You knew therefore that I had actually asked the PCCS to review only two formal complaints that had been submitted to Strathclyde Police.’

‘The PCCS wrote to me on 23 June 2010, almost two years after I had submitted my first application form, including the following statement in respect of the PCCS’s identification of ten heads of complaint:’

‘‘I have (sic) an initial examination of the papers in your case and have identified what I believe to be your grounds of complaint.’’

‘These grounds of complaint would of course have to have been identified in relation to the two complaints that I submitted for review.’

‘On 11 August 2010 the PCCS wrote to me including the following statement in respect of the PCCS’s own suggested addition of two heads of complaint:’

‘‘I refer to your complaints about Strathclyde Police and write to inform you that the following grounds of complaint (known as ‘’heads of complaint’’) have (sic) identified in addition to those communicated to you in my letter of 3 June 2010.’’

‘Subsequently, however, this total of twelve heads of complaint identified by the PCCS in respect of the two formal complaints against Strathclyde Police that were submitted to the PCCS for review was misrepresented in your report in the following terms:’

‘‘In all, the applicant has asked the Commissioner to review 12 complaints.’’

‘This is a direct falsehood that can easily be verified with reference to the two application forms I submitted to the PCCS.’

Consequently, the PCCS report requires to be corrected in accordance with the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the same level of publicity is required by law for that correction as was given to the original report.

I have already given you notice under Section 10 of the Data Protection Act 1998. I will follow that up with appropriate action in due course.

As I stated in my letter dated 24 September 2010:

‘There are 8 police complaints in this list, not 82. That averages about one complaint every two years since this significant case arose. And Strathclyde Police even failed to respond to some of these few complaints.’ 

‘Your pretence that Strathclyde Police handled 82 complaints from me and that a considerable amount of public money was wasted responding to 82 complaints is simply not true.’

‘Since this aspect of the PCCS’s report has been highlighted by the press and since it appears to be the basis for the recommendation in the report restricting my access to the complaints system this falsehood has caused me considerable damage.’

‘Everyone who has instigated or repeated such damaging defamatory statements about me knowing that these are based upon falsehoods is personally liable for that malicious conduct, as I have already warned the PCCS.’

‘My status as a vexatious litigant, currently the subject of a formal complaint to the Scottish Government in any event as you already know, does not totally exclude me from the legal process. I only have to present any proposed action to a judge in the Court of Session first for confirmation that the action is not vexatious.’

‘The Court of Session normally responds to such a request within a few days therefore actions against those who persist in malicious falsehoods about me could be served in a relatively short time.’

‘I am very experienced in drafting and presenting such actions in Sheriff Courts and in the Court of Session. One of those previous actions was featured in the Journal of the Law Society of Scotland and was reviewed in the Herald. That case was certainly not regarded as vexatious and it came very close to costing a director of Scottish Enterprise over £400,000 plus expenses. It only failed on a technicality about jurisdiction. No such technicality would arise in the proposed cases.’

In view of the very serious nature of the above and its relevance to wider issues in this case I have copied this letter to Strathclyde Police, to Scottish Enterprise, to the Scottish Government’s Ms Stella Manzie, Director General Justice and Communities, to Audit Scotland, to Mr Bob Doris MSP and to the Crown Office.

I have also copied this letter to the Herald, the Scotsman and the Evening Times.

This is clearly a matter of public interest that would tend to undermine the public’s confidence in the administration of justice, justice not having been seen to be done.

This letter has therefore been put into the public domain as is entirely appropriate in these circumstances.

Yours sincerely,

                               Eddie Cairns.

No comments: