15/02/2019

SDLP Demand Inquiry Into PSNI Disclosure Error

The SDLP's Policing and Justice spokesperson has called for the Policing Board to conduct a full inquiry into the failings by the PSNI to disclose information to the watchdog relating to loyalist killings in 1992.

Dolores Kelly's claims come amid a fresh investigation by the Police Ombudsman which discovered that police had failed to disclose certain details about a shooting at Sean Graham's bookmakers on the Ormeau Road, when five people lost their life.

The PSNI has since denied deliberately withholding any information, however some are calling for a public inquiry.

"This is one of the most disturbing developments in policing since the formation of the PSNI," said Mrs Kelly.
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"It staggers belief that this information wasn't disclosed and that the police claim it was human error. When the first Policing Board formed, it established its authority through interrogating the police investigation into the Omagh Bombing. Many years later, this new Policing Board must establish its authority through the interrogation of this appalling situation.

"Of course the Chief Constable and other police commanders responsible should appear before the board. The Policing Board needs to do much more."

The Upper Bann MLA plans to table a motion for the Policing Board to request a full report from the Chief Constable about the situation.

She continued: "If the Policing Board does not request a formal report and conduct a formal inquiry, the new board will be seriously damaged from the very early days of its existence.

"There is of course a wider point. It is clear that people, victims and survivors in particular, cannot have confidence in the belief that state agencies will disclose all information to third parties in the conduct of investigations. This would also be true in relation to proposed legacy structures where state agencies have enormous ability to control how information is gathered and in what manner.

"As the British Government considers its response to the legacy consultation, it is clear that this issue must now be revisited."



(JG/CM)

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