‘We cannot investigate Castlereagh at this stage’ - Police Ombudsman

Published Date: 20.03.2002

The Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland has said it cannot at this stage carry out an investigation into Sunday’s theft of material from the police complex at Castlereagh in Belfast. 
The PSNI Chief Constable, Sir Ronnie Flanagan, yesterday referred the incident to the Police Ombudsman’s Office. 
The Police Ombudsman, Mrs Nuala O’Loan, said her staff have been in discussions with the police and have visited the complex: 
“I am pleased that the Chief Constable has referred this matter to my Office for investigation. 
However, the enquiry must be broad and consider the possible involvement of a wide-range of individuals. It cannot confine itself to only considering any possible role serving police officers may have had in the break-in. 
An enquiry conducted by this Office would be restricted to any role police officers may have had and would be unable to consider the possible role of others. This would be an unhelpful restriction. 
I think, therefore, that the investigation must remain with the police at this stage. If any involvement of serving police officers becomes clearer, it should be referred back to my Office. 
My Office will maintain close co-operation with the PSNI throughout this matter”, she said 
Police Ombudsman Media Office 
Telephone 028 90 828604 
Mobile: 07799 34 6673. 
Given the sensitivity of this issue, neither Mrs O’Loan nor any of 
her staff will be available for interview.
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