Officers have been told to review their procedures after a 25-year-old woman suffered severe burns when she set fire to her clothing in the back of a police van.

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) called on the force to examine its “guidance to officers on monitoring persons” following the dramatic incident earlier this year.

Police Scotland insisted it was “committed to providing the highest level of care to everyone who is arrested”, and said it would report back on the recommendations made by the watchdog in due course.

It comes after a woman was arrested in Glasgow in the early hours of Saturday, April 27, following reports of a disturbance.

Officers said she struggled violently, making it impossible to conduct a thorough search of her.

The 25-year-old was then handcuffed with her hands behind her back and placed in the cell area of a police van, before being taken to London Road police station.

On arrival, she used a lighter she was carrying to set fire to her clothing, causing a severe burn injury to her right thigh.

Police Scotland referred the incident to Pirc, and investigators interviewed and obtained statements from those involved – including the injured woman.

Pirc said it also “seized and examined command and control incident logs and force standard operating procedures”, as well as examining the police van.

In its findings, the watchdog said: “On being arrested the woman struggled violently with officers making it impossible to conduct a thorough search of her at that time.

“The woman was in possession of a cigarette lighter and whilst within the police vehicle set fire to her clothing, causing serious burn injuries.

“The police van used to convey the woman to London Road police station had rear facing observation seats which, had they been used, would have allowed her to be monitored throughout the course of the journey.

“However, the escorting officer in the police van chose to sit in a front forward facing seat, making continuous observations problematic.

“Consequently the officer did not see the woman setting fire to herself until the flames had taken substantial hold.”

Pirc issued three recommendations on the back of the incident, which are contained in a report published yesterday.

These read: “Ensure that the constable involved is reminded of the importance of adequately observing persons being transported in police vehicles.

“Review the discretionary element contained in the Care and Welfare of Persons in Police Custody Standard Operating Procedures in respect of guidance to officers on monitoring persons being conveyed in police vehicles.

“Report to the head of investigations within three months on progress towards implementing these recommendations.” Police Scotland’s Superintendent Norrie Conway said the force noted the findings.

He said: “Our officers and staff are committed to providing the highest level of care to everyone who is arrested.

“We note the Pirc’s recommendations and will report back on progress in due course.”

Earlier this week, the Scottish Government launched a major revue of Scotland’s policing strategy. Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said “the time is right” to examine the priorities of Police Scotland, which was created in 2013 following the merger of eight regional forces.

A consultation on its “strategic police priorities” will run until October 4.