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Northern Ireland Policing Board to Consider Police Ombudsman Report on Omagh Investigation, 12 December 2001

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Text Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB) ... Page Compiled: Brendan Lynn

Policing Board to Consider Police Ombudsman Report on Omagh Investigation
12th December 2001

The Northern Ireland Policing Board today said it would prioritize the Ombudsmanís report at its key Corporate Policy meeting next week and that this would be followed by a specially convened Board meeting to discuss the implications of the Report with all relevant parties.

Professor Desmond Rea, Chairman of the Policing Board said,

"We have a particular responsibility to provide public accountability and transparency in relation to policing matters. With the seriousness and unique circumstances surrounding the Omagh bomb, we will be ensuring a full and considered approach to the Report of the Police Ombudsman."

Members of the Board received copies of the report following their December meeting held in Belfast today.
Professor Rea outlined how the Board intended to deal with the report,

" This Board has a clear responsibility to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the Police Service. We will be guided in all that we do by that responsibility and will take whatever action is necessary.

" We are fully aware of the gravity of this matter and the emotion surrounding the subject concerned. We clearly need time to consider in detail the contents and findings of this report. To do otherwise would I feel benefit none of the parties involved especially the relatives of the victims of the Omagh atrocity and indeed the Police Service."

The Board agreed to take the following specific action in relation to the report:

- Study the contents of the report in detail.
- Seek legal advice on its contents to guide further action.
- Conduct an initial discussion about the reportís contents at a meeting of the Boardís Corporate Policy Committee next week.
- For that committee to refer the matter back to a special meeting of the Board, with recommendations. This special meeting will be held as early as possible in the New Year.

Professor Rea also expressed Board concerns about the leaking of information allegedly contained in the report at the end of last week,

" The Board feels that the leaking of this information has been detrimental to the overall process and would urge all organizations which had copies of the draft report to conduct exhaustive enquiries into how this information became public."


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