Belfast Telegraph

Jamie Bryson makes complaint to Ombudsman following arrest

By Gareth Cross

Loyalist blogger Jamie Bryson has confirmed that he filed a complaint with the Police Ombudsman on Monday morning following his arrest last week.

Mr Bryson was arrested last Thursday after Paramilitary Crime Task Force and Security Industry Authority (SIA) searches in Ards and North Down.

The PSNI said the arrest was part of an ongoing investigation into criminality linked to the east Belfast UVF, a claim Mr Bryson denies.

Mr Bryson was held on suspicion of unlawfully supplying door staff and denies any wrongdoing.

Speaking to The Belfast Telegraph he confirmed that his complaint had been filed and that the Ombudsman's Office had confirmed receipt.

The 'Unionist Voice' blogger said that the complaint relates to exchanges on social media which he alleges identify him as the person arrested and make disparaging remarks about him.

"I have specified the times and dates of the correspondence in which by virtue of those messages that I was the person arrested and also made a number of disparaging remarks about me," Mr Bryson said.

"It is wholly inappropriate because regardless of whether I have been widely identified or have named myself, the police still have to maintain the position that they don't comment on individuals."

Mr Bryson said that the complaint also concerned another police officer who tipped off the media prior to his arrest and he claims continues to brief journalists on the situation.

"A specific officer is named and I have requested that this officer be suspended. My understanding is he is continuing to brief the media, which I believe is unauthorised," he claimed.

"It is entirely unlawful, outside his remit and in breach of my privacy."

Mr Bryson said that he was still unable to publish a CD of his police interviews because police said that they provided him with the CD in error and 'compounded the error' by sending the code to his solicitor.

"They have written to my solicitor and told him he cannot give me this code. This matter will now be the subject of High Court proceedings," he said.

The loyalist blogger attempted to clear up confusion surrounding his role in dealing with security companies, and said he had been contacted by the SIA prior to his arrest.

"There's a company registered to me called J and J Security Services which has never traded, the SIA wrote to me in June and asked me a series of questions about the company," Mr Bryson said.

In documents seen by the Belfast Telegraph Mr Bryson contacted SIA and told them that the company was not active and had been registered to secure the name.

"They were in possession of all the information before they activated the arrest," Mr Bryson said.

"My involvement with the security industry is as a sole trader with JWB consultancy and I offered them all my tax returns, accounts and documents related to that

"I provide administrative services to a sole trader who supplies SIA door supervisors and that individual is entirely licensed and lawful."

A PSNI spokesperson said that they did not comment on named individuals and no inference should be drawn from this.

The Police Ombudsman's Office confirmed that it had received the complaint and it will now be investigated.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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