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DUP urges inquiry into missing correspondence with former police officers

Hundreds of payslips sent to former officers by the PSNI’s Pensions Branch have reportedly gone missing.

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Police are investigating after 300 payslips for retired officers went missing (PA)

Police are investigating after 300 payslips for retired officers went missing (PA)

Police are investigating after 300 payslips for retired officers went missing (PA)

Police must urgently investigate after pension correspondence sent to former officers went missing, DUP leader Arlene Foster has said.

Hundreds of payslips sent to former officers have gone missing, it was reported.

They were sent to the retired officers by the PSNI’s Pensions Branch, but appear to remain undelivered after four weeks.

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Members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary which was replaced by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (Paul Faith/PA)

Members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary which was replaced by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (Paul Faith/PA)

PA

Members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary which was replaced by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (Paul Faith/PA)

The PSNI has confirmed 300 payslips were collected by Royal Mail “at the end of March” but cannot be located.

The force said a senior investigating officer will work with Royal Mail to “establish the circumstances and address any criminal justice matters which may unfold”.

It added that police do not believe anyone can be identified as a former officer from the details on the documents.

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A group for ex-Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) members told the News Letter newspaper that many police pensioners “won’t be reassured until the documents are safely retrieved and delivered”.

Mrs Foster has expressed her concern and asked for “urgent clarity” from police.

“This alleged data breach is of serious concern. We are seeking urgent clarity from the PSNI,” she said.

“It is vital that a full and thorough investigation takes place and all former officers and staff affected are reassured of their safety.”

It is important that if there is any risk to recipients of these letters, that it is mitigated as soon as possibleMervyn Storey, DUP

Her party’s lead member on the Policing Board Mervyn Storey added: “I have spoken directly with the Chief Constable’s office in relation to these concerns in the past 24 hours.

“We are seeking a substantive response. It is important that if there is any risk to recipients of these letters, that it is mitigated as soon as possible.”

Ulster Unionist MLA Alan Chambers also called for a swift investigation.

“There is naturally a degree of concern as to what has happened to these payslips,” he said.

“As a former RUC Reservist myself, I fully understand that many former officers and their families are concerned that there may have been a possible security breach.

“I have contacted the Policing Board to alert them to this matter and to find out what involvement the board may have in helping resolve it.”

The PSNI said in a statement: “PSNI Pensions Branch are aware that a number of payslips collected by Royal Mail at the end of March for delivery to retired officers remain undelivered.

“Royal Mail are aware of the matter and are seeking to identify the location of the outstanding payslips. They have informed PSNI of service delivery delays within the postal system during this challenging time.

“PSNI Criminal Investigation Branch have appointed a senior investigating officer who shall work with Royal Mail to establish the circumstances and address any criminal justice matters which may unfold.

“PSNI Pensions Branch do not believe that there is any information on the payslips which would identify individuals as retired officers.

“Based on the current level of potential risk and impact, the incident does not currently meet the criteria for notification for the Information Commissioner’s Office at present, this will be kept subject to review.

“At this stage we believe there to be approximately 300 payslips undelivered but would encourage anyone who has not received theirs to contact us by emailing pensions@psni.pnn.police.uk.”

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