Officer failed to investigate “road rage” incident

Published Date: Aug 2016

A police officer has been disciplined for failing to investigate a road rage incident, and failing to inform the victim that the case had been closed.

A motorist reported in July 2014 that another driver had threatened him and later gone to his work and demanded to know where he lived.

An officer recorded a statement about what had happened and provided his mobile number so he could be contacted if the man became aware of anything that could help identify the other driver.

Nine days later the complainant saw the other man’s car and left a message on the officer’s mobile with detailed information about the vehicle and its location.

However, he said he never heard from the officer again, despite raising the case when speaking to police about another matter several months later. In February the following year he learned that the case had become statute barred and could no longer be progressed.

Police Ombudsman investigators reviewed police records and found gaps of months during which the officer had done nothing to progress the investigation  – despite being asked by his supervisors to make additional enquiries.

The officer said he could not recall having received a voicemail about the case, but accepted he had failed to provide the man with any updates and had not contacted him when the case was closed.

The PSNI has since implemented a recommendation that the officer should be disciplined.

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