Belfast Telegraph

PSNI returns master keys to Northern Ireland residents' homes

The PSNI has returned the master keys to the homes of Northern Ireland residents to the Housing Executive.

The Housing Executive asked the police to take the keys for emergency situations or in a life or death situation, police said.

Officers have used the keys a number of times to access people's homes. Police did not go into any details of these instances.

“Since police received the keys from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, they have been secured in a safe environment for use only in those situations during which quick access to the properties could be the difference between life and death," Inspector Paul Noble said.

“The keys, which have been used on a minimal number of occasions, are no longer being used at the request of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and have now been returned.”

The Police have been asked if they hold keys to other homes of residents, they have yet to respond.

Asked for a response the Housing Executive said its investigations were ongoing.

On Thursday morning, The Irish News revealed police held the keys to seven tower block in nationalist areas of Belfast.

Residents told the paper they were concerned for their privacy and human rights

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