Belfast Telegraph

Friday 28 November 2014

Kate Hoey launches an angry attack on 'toothless' Policing Board

Labour MP Kate Hoey
Labour MP Kate Hoey

An outspoken MP from Northern Ireland has launched a fierce broadside against the "toothless" Policing Board.

Kate Hoey also accused Chief Constable Matt Baggott of treating the PSNI's official watchdog body with disrespect.

"Words fail me almost, it seems as if, as a Policing Board, you don't really have any teeth or power," she said at the MPs' inquiry into the on-the-run (OTR) controversy. "Everyone in Northern Ireland seems to have this thing that it is not ours, we cannot get involved, we don't want to look, the Justice Minister is not really interested because... doesn't want to get involved. Is it worth having a Policing Board?"

The Co Antrim-born Labour MP referred to the apparent lack of information immediately forthcoming from the PSNI.

She added: "It just seems amazing that the Chief Constable is... treating you with such disrespect."

Board chairwoman Anne Connolly said the Chief Constable preferred to report to the two inquiries into OTRs first. She said he "genuinely believes that he is reporting in the correct way".

A board spokeswoman said it has held private and public talks with the Chief Constable on OTRs.

She said Mr Baggott had provided a range of information and more will be provided on completion of the reviews by the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee and Lady Justice Heather Hallett.

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