Officers disciplined over failures in investigation of nightclub incident

Incident Date: 01.12.2014

Two police officers have been disciplined after a Police Ombudsman investigation found that they failed to properly investigate an alleged assault on a teenager by a nightclub doorman in Belfast city centre.

The teenager lodged a complaint last year, after learning that no one was to be prosecuted over the December 2014 incident.

He said he had been punched to the ground by a bouncer and sustained a broken wrist as he reached out to break his fall.

He added that the screen of his mobile phone had also been smashed, and that the device had been taken off him for a time by one of the doormen who he suspected of trying to delete a video recording of part of the altercation.

A Police Ombudsman investigation found that the officer appointed to investigate the incident failed to follow up on a series of investigative opportunities.

He did not take a statement from the teenager, and even after the statement was taken by another officer and sent to him, he failed to act on it.

Officer didn't take statement from teenager, failed to check for CCTV footage, didn't seize other video or secure medical evidence.

He also failed to check for CCTV footage of the incident, did not seize the video footage recorded by the teenager, and did not secure medical evidence of the boy’s injuries.

He also admitted failing to follow proper procedure by submitting a criminal injuries compensation form before the conclusion of the police investigation.

The form was also rendered inaccurate by a statement he submitted two days later, but he failed to advise the compensation agency that the form was wrong.

The Police Ombudsman investigator also found that the officer failed to provide proper updates to the teenager on the progress of the investigation.

He said: “The officer did effectively nothing to progress this case. He seemed to be under the misapprehension that everything should have been done by the PSNI’s Case Progression Team (CPT).

“In actual fact, it was his role to provide evidence to the CPT to allow them to progress the investigation after its initial stages.”

Another officer within the police Case Progression Team was also disciplined for a delay in reviewing the case, after he mistakenly believed it had been closed as a criminal injuries compensation form had been submitted.

However, the officer was found to have taken adequate steps review and progress the investigation once he realised his mistake.

Both officers have since been disciplined by the PSNI.

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