Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 October 2014

HET chief Dave Cox exits after Matt Baggott U-turn

Dave Cox has left the Historical Enquiries Team

The under-pressure head of the team of detectives investigating Troubles murders will step down on September 28 following an apparent U-turn by Chief Constable Matt Baggott.

Confirmation of Dave Cox's departure from the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) ends confusion over when he would quit the body he has led since its formation in 2005. There had been calls for him to go after a damning report by inspectors revealed the HET was investigating killings by soldiers with less rigour than those by paramilitaries.

The report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary said the team was inconsistent, had serious shortcomings and risked losing the confidence of victims' families.

After its publication, Policing Board members said they had no confidence in Mr Cox (left), a former police commander in London. They were then told he would leave by the end of this month.

But PSNI sources later said he would be staying until the end of the year, something Mr Baggott had also indicated.

After a meeting yesterday between Mr Baggott and the Policing Board the uncertainty was brought to an end.

In a joint statement, Matt Baggott and Policing Board chairwoman Anne Connolly said Mr Cox's departure was established during a "constructive" meeting.

A PSNI chief superintendent and superintendent will be appointed to review policies, procedures and standards of the HET.

Mr Cox will see out his contract elsewhere within the PSNI .

QUOTES

"There has been some to-ing and fro-ing over the past few weeks – but we have finally agreed with the Chief Constable that the director and deputy director of the HET will be replaced on September 28 and that the director of the HET will stay for a further two weeks in a handover role, and after that he will have nothing at all to do with the HET."

Pat Sheehan, Sinn Fein

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