Pilot scheme aims to streamline police complaints process

THE Police Ombudsman's Office is to launch a pilot project in the Newtownabbey, Antrim, Carrickfergus and Lisburn areas, aimed at finding a quicker and more effective way of dealing with less serious complaints against the police.

For a trial six-month period starting in June, people with less serious complaints against the police in these areas will be asked if they would like local police to initially look into the matter and address the issues raised.

Police Ombudsman, Mr Al Hutchinson, said the pilot Local Resolution Project offered the potential for police to work directly with complainants so that such complaints can be dealt with more quickly.

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Mr Hutchinson pointed out that local resolution would only be used as a means of dealing with complaints, which, even if substantiated, would not result in disciplinary or criminal action against an officer.

He also explained that the process would be overseen by the Police Ombudsman’s Office, which would continue to log complaints and check with complainants that issues have been properly resolved.

Complaints potentially suitable for Local Resolution include those about rudeness, failure to update or quality of service issues.

For more information about the project, please contact the Police Ombudsman’s Office on 028 9056 9907.