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Police Ombudsman in bid to question retired police for investigations

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Police Ombudsman Marie Anderson

Police Ombudsman Marie Anderson

Police Ombudsman Marie Anderson

Police Ombudsman Marie Anderson has drafted plans for new legislation which would see retired officers compelled to co-operate with her office.

Ms Anderson has drafted a series of proposals to introduce a dedicated police ombudsman act which will be presented to justice minister Naomi Long next month.

Former RUC and PSNI officers are currently not obliged to take part in ombudsman investigations. There have been a number of high profile investigation conducted by investigators who were unable to interview those officers involved at the time as they had since retired.

“What is a frustration for me is, and it has been for other ombudsman, is the fact I cannot compel retired police officers to give evidence,” Ms Anderson told The Irish News.

“That can mean a challenge for investigating the past if you can't actually compel officers to give evidence.”

Mrs Anderson added that Northern Ireland has fallen behind in terms of its legislation.

“When they created the Police Ombudsman's office in November 2000, and this is our 20th anniversary year, when they created that office we were unique and it was ground breaking but now our legislation has fallen behind.”

Mrs Anderson said that she also wants to see a wider role for her office when it comes to disciplining officers found to be in the wrong.

As it stands her office can make recommendations to the PSNI, however, she is not involved in the disciplinary process and police do not have to accept recommendations made.

Belfast Telegraph