Northern Ireland news

Ombudsman asked to investigate 'underhand' approach

The Police Ombudsman has been asked to investigate claims that officers lured a vulnerable man to a station under the pretence of collecting paperwork only to try to recruit him as an informer.

The man was allegedly asked to attend Ballymoney station earlier this month in relation to a previous incident.

However, he was said to have been stopped by an officer in an unmarked car who introduced himself as being from 'Special Branch' and asked to speak to him about loyalist paramilitary activity in the north Antrim area.

It is claimed the man refused to get in and went into the station, but the plain-clothes officer followed him in and again asked for information, offering financial incentives.

Jim Wright of North Antrim Unite Community Branch said the man was left in fear for his safety and that of his family.

"Luring someone to a station on false pretences only to put pressure on him in this way is not acceptable policing tactics and we would hope the Police Ombudsman will thoroughly investigate this incident," he said.

A spokesman for the ombudsman's office said: "We have received a complaint about issues arising from an incident in Ballymoney on October 12 and are now investigating."

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