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Call for Police Ombudsman to quickly complete New Lodge assault investiagtion

16 August, 2006

North Belfast Sinn Féin Councillor Carál Ní Chuilín today urged the Police Ombudsman's Office to quickly complete its report into a complaint made by people in the New Lodge after a local man was assaulted by the PSNi in late May. Cllr. Ní Chuilín's comments come after four Police Ombudsman investigators interviewed witnesses in the New Lodge last night.

Cllr. Ní Chuilín said:

"Over recent months there has been a marked increase in PSNI harassment of local nationalists in the New Lodge area. A number of local people have been assaulted and CS gas has been used. Relationships between the community in the New Lodge and the PSNI are non existent at this time.

"After the incident in late May I contacted the Police Ombudsman's Office and asked her to undertake an investigation into the assault of a local man. I have also encouraged local people to make statements as part of this investigation. Last night four investigators from the Ombudsman‚s Office came into the area to gather evidence and talk to eye witnesses.

"Given that this stage of the investigation is now complete I would urge the Police Ombudsman to ensure that this inquiry is swiftly completed and the report published. Given the context of PSNI conduct in the New Lodge in recent months local nationalists are closely watching the outcome of this inquiry." ENDS

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