Belfast Telegraph

Former cops may sue Ombudsman

By Staff Reporter

Four former police officers are considering legal action following claims that their personal data was unlawfully disclosed by a member of the Police Ombudsman's staff.

It's thought the suspected data disclosure could put the lives of individuals at risk.

The PSNI is also conducting a criminal investigation into the incident.

Detectives investigating the suspected theft of sensitive documents from the office of the Police Ombudsman arrested a man in Kent.

The 69-year-old is understood to be a former employee of the police watchdog.

The suspect has since been released on bail.

As part of its role probing alleged police misconduct, Ombudsman investigators can access classified documents from the PSNI.

But that information sharing agreement has been temporarily suspended in the wake of the alleged security breach, according to Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin, head of the PSNI's Crime Operations Branch.

Police Federation of Northern Ireland chairman Mark Lindsay has called for a "full inquiry" into the operation of the Ombudsman's office.

He said it was an "astounding and very worrying state of affairs".

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