Some interesting speculation in this report by the BBC’s Vincent Kearney on the new Police Ombudsman, Al Hutchinson. He’s looked back at the comments Hutchinson made about ‘policing the past’ in his last report as Policing Oversight Commissioner – comments which were also echoed by other interested parties around that time, as noted here. Whilst Vincent Kearney points to existing cases from the past currently under review, including one which has just been further delayed, the speculation in the article is
Investigating the past wasn’t part of the job specification when Nuala O’Loan took up her post, but was added later.
Could it be that the government will change the remit again, removing that requirement?
That would remove the problem of the past from the Ombudsman’s office, leaving him [Al Hutchinson] to deal with current complaints against the PSNI.