Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Policing Board 'no confidence' in Historical Enquiries Team

Chief Constable Matt Baggott  at the policing board meeting in Belfast. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Chief Constable Matt Baggott at the policing board meeting in Belfast. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

The Northern Ireland Policing Board today declared it has no confidence in the leadership of a special unit set up to review unsolved murders.

Management arrangements are also to be reviewed and cases involving soldiers suspended.

The decision announced in Belfast followed a devastating report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) which claimed the Historical Enquiries Team was not rigorous enough when investigating killings by troops.

The Board has also established a dedicated working group to take forward and oversee the implementation of all of the recommendations in the HMIC report.

A statement this afternoon said: "This group, comprising political and independent membership, will also review PSNI failures to respond promptly to issues raised in relation to the work of the HET."

The group will meet next week to begin this work and will report on progress in the autumn.

Killings by British troops are to be re-examined after the report claimed investigators were not rigorous enough in their questioning of members of the security forces.

The national police watchdog review also alleged that the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) was inconsistent, had serious shortcomings and risked losing the confidence of victims' families.

Chief constable Matt Baggott confirmed that deaths caused by military personnel are to be reviewed after admitting a deferential approach was adopted by investigators questioning the soldiers involved.

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