Belfast Telegraph

Police officers cleared over care of suspect's daughter

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.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?


From Belfast Telegraph