Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Watchdog gives PSNI body parts guidelines

A police watchdog has issued the PSNI with further guidelines around the retention of human tissue after the force was found to be in possession of the body parts of 63 people.

Last year, the PSNI revealed it kept body parts and tissue samples in 63 cases of suspicious and unexplained deaths without notifying relatives. The cases were revealed as part of a UK-wide audit of all police forces.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary's report yesterday said the PSNI's process of engaging with families affected "appeared to have been conducted as quickly as reasonably possible and with sensitivity".

While the report praised the police's handling of the crisis to date, it said there was still work to be done to avert problems.

Responding to the report, Chief Supt Mark Hamilton said: "The PSNI acknowledges the trauma and hurt caused by the Human Tissue Audit and again apologises to the families affected."

Police said they would speak with victims' families to discuss what they would do with the body parts.

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