NI Police Ombudsman Chief Executive resigns

The BBC’s Vincent Kearney reports that Sam Pollock, Chief Executive at the NI Police Ombudsman‘s office since the post was created ten and a half years ago, has resigned.  From the BBC report

Sam Pollock claims the office’s independence has been undermined by meddling from senior civil servants at the Department of Justice.

In a statement, the Department of Justice said it had always respected the office’s independence.

The ombudsman also strongly rejected claims the office’s independence had been undermined.

Al Hutchinson said the independence of the ombudsman was “guaranteed by law” and he could confirm that “independence is both real and practical, as demonstrated by our reports”.

“If it were otherwise, I would say so,” he added.

Hmm…

Update  According to a BBC report

Justice Minister David Ford has asked for a report into the allegations made by the chief executive of the Police Ombudsman office.

A “report” from whom?

Adds  The updated BBC report now states that the review will be “independent”.

Mr Ford said he would announce the person tasked with the review “in the coming days”.

Final Update  From the NI Justice Minister’s statement

David Ford said: “I am committed to maintaining the independence of the Ombudsman’s office.  While these allegations are serious in nature, it will be important to see the concerns documented and substantiated as a first step.  I plan to announce the individual who will take this forward in the coming days.”

The Terms of Reference will be published when the reviewer is appointed.

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