Belfast Telegraph

Officer disciplined over road row

An off-duty police officer who followed a lorry driver after a traffic incident on a motorway has been disciplined, a watchdog has confirmed.

The Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman said the officer had breached his professional code of ethics to pursue a personal grievance.

Investigators heard he had driven alongside an articulated lorry driver sounding his horn; flashing his lights and ordering him to pull over after an incident on a motorway off-slip.

When the lorry driver refused, the officer who was in his own car, followed the vehicle for more than 10 miles.

The policeman later lodged an official complaint with the lorry driver's employers in which, according the Ombudsman, he inappropriately referred to his job status.

He also mentioned that he was in the police when he visited the business premises where the lorry was based and during two phone calls made to the driver's home.

The Ombudsman investigators concluded that the officer had breached the police code of ethics by making use of the fact he was a police officer to pursue a personal grievance.

However, a complaint that he had used police records to obtain the lorry driver's telephone number, which was publicly available through directory enquiries, was not upheld.

The investigation also found no issue with the fact the officer had made a phone call while driving, because he had used a hands-free kit.

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