Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Police Ombudsman’s Office key mechanism in holding PSNI to account

25 April, 2007

West Tyrone Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty said has described last night's public meeting in the Derg Valley Leisure Centre, in Castlederg, at which Police Ombudsman Nuala O Loan engaged members of local community about their concerns about continued political policing in the areas as a highly informative and constructive exercise.

The event was attended by almost 100 local people and after opening remarks by the local MP, Nuala O Loan gave a comprehensive power point presentation outlining the work of her office and the mechanism by which people can make a complaint and how that complaint is processed, once someone feels that they have been unfairly treated by the PSNI. This was followed by a Q&A session and at the end of proceedings Nuala O Loan and two members of her staff offered to accommodate anyone who wished to make an official complaint- an offer that was availed of by a substantial number of people at the meeting.

Following the meeting Pat Doherty said,

"The reaction of members of the public attending last nights proceedings clearly illustrate that while there is a high level of confidence within the local community about the independence of the Police Ombudsman's Office there is still a deep level of mistrust about the attitude and actions of the PSNI towards the local republican and nationalist community.

"However, the most positive aspect of last night's meeting was the fact that so many people felt confident enough to make a formal complaint and hopefully if more and more people feel empowered to use this mechanism as a means of redress when they feel that they have been unjustly treated by the PSNI, will hasten the day when a fully impartial and accountable policing service, as promised under the Good Friday Agreement, can finally be realised." ENDS

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