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Ombudsman investigating senior PSNI officer after traffic incident

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Ombudsman: Michael Maguire

Ombudsman: Michael Maguire

Ombudsman: Michael Maguire

A senior PSNI officer is at the centre of a Police Ombudsman probe, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.

The officer is being investigated in relation to a motoring incident.

The incident, understood to have happened a number of months ago, involved the senior officer - who is not being named due to legal reasons - and another police officer.

Each has made allegations of impropriety against the other.

Under normal rules the senior officer should have been referred to the Police Ombudsman by the Policing Board due to their rank.

However, as there was no fully constituted Policing Board at the time, a decision was made that they should be referred to the Police Ombudsman by the PSNI.

Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin said: "A road traffic incident occurred involving two police officers, both of whom made allegations against each other. In order to ensure full independence of the investigation and to maintain public confidence, the matter was referred to the Office of the Police Ombudsman."

A Police Ombudsman spokesman said: "We try not to confirm or deny anything which would help in the identification of police officers.

"That seems only fair."

It is highly unusual for a senior officer to come under the scrutiny of the Police Ombudsman. Earlier this year the Chief Constable was exonerated by a Police Ombudsman investigation into alleged misconduct in public office.

George Hamilton and a number of other senior officers were subject to the investigation.

The Chief Constable said he was relieved at the outcome, but not surprised it had exonerated him. He said the investigation was to the highest possible standards, describing it as "quite intrusive".

Michael Maguire's probe examined how the PSNI handled a bribery inquiry into the awarding of a contract to supply vehicles to the force.

Belfast Telegraph