Published Date: 15.11.2013
A Police Ombudsman investigation has found no evidence of misconduct by police after a man complained that he had been offered money to provide information about Republican activity.
In his complaint to the Police Ombudsman’s Office, the man said he had been at a police station in relation to a traffic accident and as he went to leave, had been asked to wait.
He said he was then shown to a side room where he was spoken to by two people in plain clothes who said it would be “financially beneficial” for him if he provided information in relation to Republican activity.
The man refused to provide any information, and later complained that he was being harassed by police. He said he had been stopped by police at least twice, and perhaps on three occasions, in the previous two years.
Police have the right to stop and search, if appropriate, under the Justice and Security Act.
Having investigated the complaint, the Police Ombudsman’s investigator wrote to the complainant to advise that police had the right to stop and search people under the Justice and Security Act, if they considered it appropriate. The investigator pointed out, however, that police must provide a copy of a search record, either at the time of the search, or later at a police station.
As the complainant had been given a copy of the search record on the two occasions on which he could definitely recall being stopped by police, the investigator found insufficient evidence of police misconduct in the way the complainant had been stopped by police.
The investigator also pointed out that police have the right to ask members of the public to provide information or assist with their enquiries. The investigation concluded that there was no misconduct in police offering a financial incentive in return for any assistance or information the complainant could provide.