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Police Ombudsman recommends officer should be disciplined over 'appalling young loyalists' tweet

By Jonny Bell

Published 22/04/2016

The officer responsible for the tweet faces disciplinary action.
The officer responsible for the tweet faces disciplinary action.

The Police Ombudsman has recommended disciplinary proceedings to be taken against a PSNI officer who branded "young loyalists" as being responsible for anti-social behaviour, describing their actions as "appalling".

Following rioting in the Woodvale area of north Belfast last year the PSNI's north Belfast twitter profile tweeted a picture of smashed glass at the entrance to an older people's home.

"Young loyalists in Woodvale leave entrance to older people's home in state 2 years after last time. Appalling," the tweet said.

It was later removed.

Following a complaint, the Police Ombudsman has recommended disciplinary proceedings against the officer responsible.

A spokesman said: "Our investigation into this matter concluded that the information in the tweet could not be verified."

"The complaint was therefore substantiated and a file recommending disciplinary action against the officer sent to the PSNI."

Superintendent Darrin Jones said: "We accepted and implemented the Ombudsman’s recommendation in February this year."

Chairman of the North and West Belfast Young Democratic Unionists, Dale Pankhurst said he made the complaint.

"Sometimes the police chastise the general public to be careful on social media," he said.

"Perhaps now they will practice what they preach, learn from this idiotic mistake and be careful in what they publish in future."

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