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Justice minister must explain Ombudsman cuts as millions handed back - Hazzard

5 June, 2015 - by Chris Hazzard

Sinn Féin MLA Chris Hazzard has called on the Justice Minister to explain why the PSNI handed back nearly £15 million despite financial pressures on the Ombudsman's office. 

Mr Hazzard said; 

"Justice Minister David Ford has a responsibility to ensure that his department allocates adequate resources to the Police Ombudsman. 

"In the last year the Ombudsman's office has been forced to make savings of £385,000 which have had a direct impact in relation to the timelines and quality of investigations - including a growing number of legacy cases. 

"We know that even a small cut in the Ombudsman's budget can make a huge difference to its operations. 

"Given the lengthy ordeal that many families experience in obtaining truth and justice; PSNI budgets should have been reallocated in advance of the monitoring round to allow much needed funds to be redirected towards the Ombudsman's office. 

"I have written to Minister Ford to remind him of his department's responsibility to ensure that the Ombudsman's office is adequately resourced so that families searching for truth and justice for their loved ones can have confidence in the process."

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