Investigation into use of personal protection weapon by off-duty officer

Published Date: 23.01.2012

The Police Ombudsman's Office was alerted yesterday (22 January) to an incident in Carrickfergus in which an off-duty police officer discharged a round from his Personal Protection Weapon.

The officer had been walking his dog on the beach near Troopers Lane, Carrickfergus when it was attacked by three rottweilers. The shot was fired into the air in an attempt to scare off the dogs.

The Police Ombudsman's Office is required by law to examine all cases where the police use their weapons, even when off-duty. Independent investigators attended Carrickfergus police station yesterday evening and took away the relevant firearm and other ammunition for potential forensic examination, as well as copies of all relevant police documentation. They obtained an account of the incident from the officer and details of other witnesses. They also visited the scene this morning.

Further investigations will be carried out to determine whether the response of the officer was reasonable in the circumstances, and a report will be sent to the Chief Constable, Minister of Justice and Northern Ireland Policing Board upon completion of the case.

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