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Police officers cleared over care of suspect's daughter

Published 30/09/2015

A 14-year-old's father alleged she was left in a distressed state after he was apprehended for suspected firearms offences
A 14-year-old's father alleged she was left in a distressed state after he was apprehended for suspected firearms offences

A police watchdog has cleared two officers accused of failing to care for a teenage girl after the arrest of her father.

The Police Ombudsman said their response was proportionate and recommended no disciplinary action be taken.

In a complaint to the Ombudsman, the 14-year-old's father alleged she was left in a distressed state after he was apprehended for suspected firearms offences.

He said the officers should have made arrangements for her care while he was detained.

Legislation states it is an offence for someone with responsibility for a person under 16 to abandon them in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering or injury to health.

It is also generally advised by the National Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Children that youngsters aged under 12 are not left alone for long periods of time.

Ombudsman investigators were blocked from interviewing the teenager because her father declined to give permission due to her age and alleged distress.

However several statements were recorded from police who attended the scene. They all stated the teenager had shown no signs of distress and had made plans to visit a friend.

The officers also said the suspect had not expressed concerns about his daughter's well-being at the time of his arrest.

Although they were not informed of the girl's age, they would have contacted a relative if adult supervision was required or had there been any sign of a problem, they said.

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