Published Date: 31.05.2017
It is disappointing that the Chairman of the Police Federation has chosen again to air views that are unfounded.
His comments are odds with the feedback from police officers who have been investigated by the Office (and obtained through independent survey): 89% said they were treated with respect and more than 75% felt that the complaint had been handled in an independent manner.
An independent survey of public attitudes in Northern Ireland records that almost 80% of people have confidence that the Police Ombudsman’s Office deals with complaints in an impartial way, and a similar number see us as independent of the police.
The Office makes recommendations to the police who are the sole arbiters in law as to whether a disciplinary sanction is imposed on an officer. Contrary to Mr Lindsay’s assertions, disciplinary findings can be appealed by the officer concerned.
It is frustrating that the Chairman makes these comments without having spoken to the Police Ombudsman. If Mr Lindsay has serious concerns based on evidence, then the interests of his members and the police complaints system more generally would be best served by dialogue.
Dr Maguire is more than willing to speak with the Federation regarding what Mr Lindsay has described as inept investigations and a witch hunt, both of which the Office would refute.