Published Date: 07.04.2020
The Police Ombudsman's Office has said it hopes to keep the police complaints system operational throughout the current health crisis.
Police Ombudsman Marie Anderson has said that members of the public can continue to make complaints about the conduct of police officers during this period.
"We will carry out an initial assessment of all such complaints, but given the limited staff we now have available, we will initially focus our resources on those matters which we deem to be critical," she said.
Mrs Anderson said that while the community continues to deal with the pandemic, some aspects of policing will change and with it the nature of some complaints made to her Office.
She said the Office is in regular contact with police about these matters and has confirmed it will be informed of all instances when police officers use spit hoods and bite guards.
"Police officers and members of the public alike should be assured that we will stick rigidly to our core principles of independent, impartial investigation throughout this period.
Complaints about the conduct of police officers will continue to be assessed against a range of criteria, including the relevant policies and procedures in place and the context within which any incident was alleged to have happened.
The Office will also monitor and subsequently report on the number and nature of complaints made during this time," she said.