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Officer disciplined over lorry incident

Marie Louise McConville m.mcconville@irishnews.com

POLICEMAN has been disciplined after it was found he had used his status as a police officer, when off duty, to pursue a personal grievance.

The officer was found to have used his position to further a complaint against a lorry driver over a traffic incident.

An investigation was launched by the Police Ombudsman's Office after a complaint was made by the lorry driver about the officer's behaviour in the wake of the incident, which happened as he drove an articulated lorry from an off-slip onto the motorway.

The driver said the officer, who was driving his own car, pulled out from behind him, drove alongside and flashed his lights and sounded his horn in an attempt to get him to pull over.

He said the policeman pursued him for around 10 miles.

When the lorry driver reached his destination, his manager informed him that a complaint had been made about his driving.

The driver worked for an agency, and it emerged that a separate complaint was made to the company whose vehicle he was driving.

The following day, the officer visited the transport company and asked for the driver's details. Later that day, two phone calls were made to the driver's home.

Following an investigation, the Police Ombudsman found the officer, who mentioned he was an off-duty police officer during each of the calls, "had breached the police code of ethics by making use of the fact he was a police officer to pursue a personal grievance".

The officer was later disciplined.

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