Police Ombudsman supports swearing disciplinary action
The Police Ombudsman has said he supports the PSNI's decision to discipline a policewoman for swearing at work. Disciplinary action was initiated by the PSNI after the officer was overheard using bad language within the custody suite at Musgrave Street Police Station.
Her swearing was picked up on an audio recording within the custody suite which formed part of a probe by investigators from the Ombudsman's Office into a death in custody at the station.
"While we do not want to go into too much detail about what the officer actually said, her comments were more extreme than have been reported and some of them referred to an individual," a spokesman for the Police Ombudsman said.
He added: "There can be cases, such as this one, where a police officer should be disciplined for their use of language. Indeed, members of the public sometimes make complaints that police officers swore at them, each of which we judge on the evidence available."
The Police Ombudsman's Office said that "in recent times we have put in place procedures to help ensure that a rounded approach is taken to very minor allegations, those some may view as petty. That can involve resolving issues informally."
"Policing is a difficult and at times stressful job. The Police Ombudsman's Office is not in the business of monitoring police officers' language in private during tea breaks. Indeed, the latest independent figures indicate that more than 80% of officers who were the subject of a complaint said they felt we had handled the matter fairly," the spokesman added.