Published Date: 13.12.2016
An investigation by the Police Ombudsman’s Office has rejected a claim that a police officer advised a woman to borrow money from a loan shark to pay off fines.
The woman’s daughter complained that an officer had advised her mother to either borrow from a loan shark or default on the fines and face spending a few days in prison.
She also complained that the officer made a rude comment about the tidiness of her bedroom, and provided an audio recording in support of her complaint.
However, when interviewed, the officer said the comment about the loan shark had been meant as a warning about getting into further debt.
He said he told her that if borrowing the money from relatives was not an option, and there were no other way of getting the money, then she would need to consider her options.
As he saw it, these were either defaulting on the fines and spending a few days in Hydebank, or borrowing from a loan shark and risking getting caught in spiralling debt.
The audio recording provided by the complainant confirmed that the comment had been meant as a warning and a piece of advice.
It also contained no reference to the state of the woman’s bedroom, and the officer’s colleague had no recollection of any such comment.
The Police Ombudsman investigator closed the complaint as unsubstantiated.