Northern Ireland news

Police from outside the north to probe ombudsman theft

The PSNI is to bring in an outside police force to probe the theft of sensitive Police Ombudsman documents
Staff Reporter

A PROBE into the alleged theft and disclosure of sensitive security documents from the Police Ombudsman's office is to be carried out by officers from outside the north.

The PSNI launched an investigation last month into allegations confidential documents were taken from the office around a decade ago and given to a legal firm.

A 69-year-old man who formerly worked as an ombudsman investigator was arrested in England but later released on bail.

The PSNI has now confirmed that an independent police service will take over the probe.

"Steps have been taken to ensure independent advice has been available to the PSNI investigation since it commenced," Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin told the BBC.

"Furthermore, we are now actively seeking to appoint another police service to independently lead the investigation."

At least eight former RUC officers have been named in the documents.

Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire has referred the allegations to the information commissioner.

The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure has also been asked to review information handling processes within the ombudsman's office.

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