News | Heffron investigation report must lead to change

Heffron investigation report must lead to change

SDLP Policing Board member Dolores Kelly MLA today questioned the Chief Constable and Deputy Chief Constable following the publication of a Police Ombudsman report on the attempted murder of Peadar Heffron.

Mrs Kelly said that the report raised examples of worrying failures relating to intelligence sharing in the PSNI and that the process for the review of sanctions recommended by the Police Ombudsman threatened to undermine confidence in his office.

She said:

“The Police Ombudsman report into the investigation surrounding the attempted murder of Peadar Heffron exposes worrying deficiencies in the handling and sharing of intelligence within the PSNI C3 unit.

“The 28 month long failure to provide intelligence after a series of specific requests from investigating officers did a massive disservice to Constable Heffron and all those who put their lives at risk keeping our communities safe. As a first step, I’m pleased that the Chief Constable was able to acknowledge the serious impact this had on the momentum of the investigation as well as public confidence in policing.

“It’s vital now that we see the recommendations of the Police Ombudsman implemented in full. The independence of the Police Ombudsman’s Office must be respected and that includes respect for the sanctions they recommend following a comprehensive investigation such as this. It is not appropriate for that independence to be degraded by a PSNI internal review and subsequent softening of those sanctions.

“The Ombudsman report lays the failures of several officers bare. It’s critical that public confidence in the policing dispensation is secured with robust action to address these issues. Nothing else will do.”

Dolores Kelly MLA

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