Criminal Justice Inspection NI to review Police Ombudsman’s independence

The Northern Ireland Justice Minister, David Ford, has already commissioned former civil servant Tony McCusker to examine the allegations made against Department of Justice civil servants by Sam Pollock when he resigned as Chief Executive at the NI Police Ombudsman.

And, by the end of last week, the Police Ombudsman, Al Hutchison, had asked the Criminal Justice Inspection Northern Ireland to conduct a review of the operational independence of the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland from the PSNI.

From the BBC report

The Police Ombudsman, Al Hutchinson, said he welcomed the appointment of Mr McCusker but that his review would not deal with all the issues raised in the wake of Mr Pollock’s resignation.

“Mr McCusker’s terms of reference do not address the alleged lack of operational independence from the PSNI.

“I have categorically refuted such suggestions and have stated that the office has both real and practical independence from the PSNI.”

Mr Maguire said his report would provide “an impartial, evidence-based analysis of the relationship between the Police Ombudsman’s Office and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.”

Perhaps we should have a review of the relationship between the NI Justice Department and the PSNI while we’re at it…