Gun and ammo found in Police Ombudsman's office

Dr Michael Maguire's office has launched an investigation after a gun and ammunition was found in a filing cabinet at the Police Ombudsman's city centre office
Connla Young

THE Police Ombudsman is investigating after a gun and ammunition was found in his office.

The weapon, believed to be a handgun, was discovered in a filing cabinet at his city centre HQ in June.

The PSNI gun was seized as part of an ombudsman investigation after shots were fired at a suspected stolen car by police in 2007.

The recovered weapon was not fired during the incident in the Dundonald area of Belfast, in which a man lost an eye.

A spokesman for Dr Michael Maguire's office said the weapon was found in a cabinet belonging to a member of staff.

Days later a member of staff named Steve Skerratt resigned.

It is understood Mr Skerratt stood down from his position shortly after being informed that an internal investigation had been launched.

The Ombudsman said that not returning them to an evidence store was a breach of procedures.

Mr Skerritt denies this.

A spokesman for the Police Ombudsman said it is “investigating an incident in which a firearm and ammunition were found in a filing cabinet of a member of staff, in breach of procedures.

“Police Ombudsman staff became aware of the breach in June this year and immediately initiated an investigation, which is continuing,” he said.

The chairman of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland, Mark Lindsay, last night called for the "creation of an independent oversight body to govern the operation and internal workings of the ombudsman’s operation".



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