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Complaint about officer thrown out

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 13/04/2016

The Police Ombudsman threw out a complaint that the officer failed to investigate the matter
The Police Ombudsman threw out a complaint that the officer failed to investigate the matter

Criticism of a PSNI officer who reviewed almost 150 pages of evidence and hours of CCTV footage related to a dispute between neighbours has been rejected by a watchdog.

The Police Ombudsman threw out a complaint that the officer failed to investigate the matter.

The complainant alleged that the officer had refused to record a witness statement from the other party in the dispute, had not recorded a statement from his wife and had failed to properly review evidence he had provided.

However, in response, the officer explained that she had spent around seven hours reviewing almost 150 pages of emails, correspondence, images, internet downloads and diary entries, along with nearly 50 photographs.

A further three hours were spent reviewing several months' worth of CCTV footage captured by a camera, which had been submitted on a hard drive.

The officer added that she had taken personal responsibility for the case, given that the complainant had raised concerns about being dealt with by different officers.

She said that she had not failed to record a statement from the complainant's wife, but had simply run out of time during their appointment, having spent a "considerable amount of time" recording a statement.

She added that when she subsequently attempted to make arrangements to obtain the statement, she was advised that further contact should be through the complainant's solicitor, who then failed to reply to two emails.

The officer also denied having refused to record a statement from the other party in the dispute, explaining that there had been no need as they had submitted their own account.

Case records corroborated the officer's account.

The Police Ombudsman investigator also found no misconduct in the officer advising the complainant that she would consider making a recommendation that all parties involved in the dispute be bound over to keep the peace.

The officer said she had explained that the ultimate decision would be made by the Public Prosecution Service on the basis of the evidence of the case.

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