Belfast Telegraph

Police criticised for accident probe failures

BY CHRIS KILPATRICK

Police failed to send a file to the Public Prosecution Service following a traffic collision in which a woman's leg was broken and her dog killed, an investigation has found.

The pedestrian lodged a complaint with the Police Ombudsman's Office alleging that police had failed to properly investigate the collision.

A PSNI officer – referred to as Police Officer 1 – was in charge of the investigation initially, but responsibility for the case was transferred to another – Police Officer 2 – when the pedestrian's injuries proved not to be life-threatening.

By the time the pedestrian made her complaint about the incident, Police Officer 1 had left the PSNI. He nevertheless agreed to speak to Police Ombudsman's investigators and said the decision not to send a file to the PPS had been his, and he advised Police Officer 2 of this decision. He said Police Officer 2, who at that stage had just nine months' service in the police, had acted upon this advice.

Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire concluded that a file should have been sent to the PPS. He noted that statements had not been taken from witnesses.

Dr Maguire concluded that Officer 1 would have been disciplined for these errors if he had still been a serving officer.

The collision happened on December 17, 2008 on the Belmont Road in Antrim.

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