Belfast Telegraph

File being sent to PPS after probe into Twitter troll accounts 'run by PSNI officers'

The Police Ombudsman's office is investigating troll Twitter accounts.
The Police Ombudsman's office is investigating troll Twitter accounts.

A file is being sent to prosecutors after an investigation into troll Twitter accounts allegedly run by PSNI officers.

The Irish News has reported that a file is being sent to the Public Prosecution Service as part of an investigation which began in 2017.

The Ombudsman is conducting an investigation into anonymous Twitter accounts disclosing sensitive policing information and sending abusive messages.

Accounts are being investigated for a range of offences including harassment, misconduct in public office and offences under the Data Protection Act.

The offences are linked to accounts making offensive comments about the LGBT community, children in care, suicide and drug deaths.

A Police Ombudsman's office spokesperson said that "in some instances it is alleged that a serving police officer has posted the 'offending' material."

"In others it is alleged that police officers have supplied personal information which has been posted," the spokesperson said.

“As required when investigating matters of alleged criminality, we will be submitting a file to the Public Prosecution Service for their consideration."

However, the spokesperson said that in January of this year the Ombudsman's Office referred one aspect of the case to the PSNI "after establishing that the person involved was not a police officer or employee, and could not be investigated by this Office".

The PSNI has confirmed that a "referral was received from the Office of the Police Ombudsman", but said "as enquiries into the matter are ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time".

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