Claim police advised using loan shark to pay fines rejected
A claim that a police officer told a woman to borrow money from a loan shark to pay off fines has been thrown out by a watchdog.
The woman’s daughter complained that an officer had advised her mother to either borrow the cash or default on the fines and face spending a few days in prison.
The allegations were investigated by the Police Ombudsman.
When interviewed, the officer said the remark about the loan shark had been meant as a warning about getting into further debt.
He said he told her that if borrowing the money from relatives was not an option, and there were no other ways of getting the money, then she would need to consider her options.
As he saw it, these were either defaulting on the fines and spending a few days in Hydebank, or borrowing from a loan shark and risking getting caught in spiralling debt.
An audio recording provided by the complainant confirmed that the comment had been meant as a warning and a piece of advice.
A Police Ombudsman investigator closed the complaint as unsubstantiated.