Northern Ireland news

PSNI corpse picture probe to be raised at Policing Board

Alliance Party Policing Board member John Blair

Claims that a PSNI officer took at least one picture of a corpse and shared it by mobile phone are set to be raised at the Policing Board.

The Irish News revealed yesterday how the Police Ombudsman is investigating allegations that an officer took a picture of at least one dead person.

It is understood the investigation is at an advanced stage.

Earlier this week the ombudsman was asked if it is investigating “allegations that a PSNI officer took pictures of a corpse or corpses at one or more death scenes” and distributed them by phone.

A spokesman for the ombudsman said: "The Police Ombudsman can confirm that there is an ongoing investigation into the matters raised.

“Due to the fact that the investigation is ongoing it is not possible to comment further at this time.”

The ombudsman’s office has failed to clarify whether the investigation is focused on more than one death scene.

It is understood the relatives of the deceased have been informed.

Alliance Party Policing Board member John Blair last night said he hopes to raise the issue at a meeting of the oversight body's Partnership Committee today.

"It's a matter of concern and I expect this to be raised at the Policing Board," he said.

"I am mindful there appears to be a Police Ombudsman investigation and that detail might be limited in that regard."

Mr Blair said it was "fair to assume" that conversations will be held at the Policing Board "to ensure that sufficient processes are in place to guard against such problems in the future and that any process currently in place will be reviewed if necessary."

The revelation comes just months after two officers in England were jailed for sharing pictures they had taken at a double murder scene.

In December Metropolitan Police officers Deniz Jaffer and Jamie Lewis were jailed for 33 months each for taking pictures of murdered sisters Nicole Smallman (27) and Bibaa Henry (46).

The victims had been celebrating Ms Henry’s birthday on the night they were repeatedly stabbed to death in north London by Danyal Hussein, who was later jailed for a minimum of 35 years.

Jaffer and Lewis sent the images and a series of vile messages to others via WhatsApp.

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