01/11/2018

PSNI Officer Disciplined For Drinking In Homeless Hostel

A Northern Ireland police officer has been disciplined after breaching the policies of a homeless hostel by climbing in through a window and spending several hours drinking with residents.

A Police Ombusman investigation found that the officer, who was off-duty and not in uniform at the time, persuaded a hostel resident to let him in through a window of the County Antrim facility, and had a bottle of vodka with him.

The incident took place in April 2016.

The officer later admitted that he was aware of the no alcohol and no visitors policy, as well as the fact that many residents were alcohol dependant.

He also agreed that he had told residents he was a police officer, and had produced his warrant card to prove it.

The Police Ombudsman found that the behaviour had the potential to bring the police force into disrepute, and disciplined the offending officer accordingly.
News Image
Evidence suggested that he was drinking with residents in a room in the hostel between 11pm and around 1.45am, before leaving in a taxi to buy food at a local fast food restaurant. When he returned with two large bags of food and eight soft drinks, he was refused entry by hostel staff.

The investigation also revealed that the officer had accessed a friend's police records without authorisation or a policing purpose in May 2013. The Ombudsman submitted a file to the Public Prosecution Service, which resulted in an adult caution of the officer.

Chief Inspector Joe McMinn said: "PSNI accepted the findings of the Ombudsman in this case and implemented an internal disciplinary process which resulted in the officer receiving a misconduct outcome.

"Both we and the public expect police officers to behave professionally, ethically and with the utmost integrity at all times, whether on or off duty.

"Where it is perceived that conduct falls short of these high standards, it is right that officers should face an impartial, thorough investigation by the Police Ombudsman's office."



(JG/CM)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

06 August 2014
Police Vehicle Contracts Arrest - Man Released
A 54-year-old member of police staff who was arrested in County Antrim as part of ongoing investigations into the awarding of vehicle contracts has been released. The man was arrested on suspicion of misconduct in public office and has been taken to a police station in Belfast for questioning.
28 March 2007
House of Lords vote for ‘50/50’ police force
The House of Lords has renewed the 50/50 recruitment rule for the PSNI by a majority of 44. It puts into practice a recommendation made in 1999 by Lord Patten that the local police force should be split evenly between Catholics and Protestants. The result of the vote was 141 to 97.
03 December 2015
Two Officers Disciplined For Failing To Fully Investigate Attack On Woman
Two police officers have been disciplined for failing to properly investigate an attack on a woman in L'Derry in 2014, following an investigation by the Police Ombudsman. The victim reported that a man had punched her in the face in an apparently unprovoked attack after she left a bar in the early hours of the morning.
03 November 2017
Officer Disciplined After Driver Escapes Punishment In Crash
A police officer has been disciplined after a driver escaped punishment for knocking down a pedestrian. The incident happened in L'Derry in December 2015.
05 April 2011
£50K Offered To Catch Ronan Kerr's Killers
The national crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers is offering a cash incentive of up to £50,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the death of PSNI officer, Ronan Kerr (pictured).