Belfast Telegraph

Second review in Ombudsman row

By Catherine Lynagh

A second review has been launched to examine the independence of the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman following the shock resignation of the organisation’s chief executive.

Sam Pollock, who worked at the Police Ombudsman's Office for more than 10 years, announced his resignation last week after alleging that the organisation's work has been unduly interfered with by civil servants.

He told Ombudsman Al Hutchinson he was no longer prepared to work for the independent body, which was set up to examine allegations of police misconduct.

In the wake of Mr Pollock’s resignation, Justice Minister David Ford appointed the chairman of the Community Relations Council, Tony McCusker, to investigate the claims made by Mr Pollock.

Now Mr Hutchinson has |appointed the Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland to conduct a review of the |operational independence of the Police Ombudsman from the PSNI. A statement issued on behalf of Mr Hutchinson said media reporting had raised the issue of confidence in the independence of his office.

The statement said: “I have |categorically refuted such suggestions and have stated that the office has both real and practical independence from the PSNI.”

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