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Two police officers rapped over failing to investigate an assault complaint

Published 15/11/2016

The officers were members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland
The officers were members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland

Two police officers have been disciplined over serious failings in the investigation of an assault.

The incident happened at a bar in Londonderry last June.

The victim provided police with contact details for himself and a witness and also advised the incident had been captured on CCTV.

However, in a complaint to the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman six months later, he said his only contact with police had been a leaflet received through the post.

The man claimed officers had done nothing beyond recording an initial statement.

Police records, examined by Ombudsman investigators, showed the only action taken had been to view city centre TV footage two months after the incident - even though it had been ready for examination within two weeks.

The investigating officer also admitted having failed to contact the named witness, and failing to secure CCTV footage from the pub.

Staff at the bar told the Ombudsman the incident had been recorded but the footage had since been wiped.

Meanwhile, police records also showed the officer had only viewed the city centre CCTV footage before asking her supervisor for permission to close the case on the basis that a suspect could not be identified.

The supervisor, who had recently been promoted, said she was getting to grips with her new role when she authorised the case closure.

She told a Police Ombudsman investigator she had confidence in the officer and had assumed all necessary lines of enquiry had been completed.

The supervisor accepted the service provided to the victim was not of standard expected.

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From Belfast Telegraph