Officer falsely recorded PPS advice: ombudsman

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A police officer acted contrary to the advice of the PPS when he cautioned a man accused of assault, a Police Ombudsman’s probe has found.

The man in question had been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a young person at a Fermanagh bus station in June 2015.

The arresting officer contacted a PPS prosecutor to discuss whether a caution might be appropriate, but was told an immediate caution could not be authorised at that stage and he was advised to interview the suspect.

The alleged victim’s parents were not happy with the idea of an immediate caution.

The suspect was nonetheless given one, and a report was filed which stated that both the PSNI and PPS had agreed to this.

The ombudsman’s investigation showed no evidence of criminal conduct by the officer, but added that he had “acted against the advice of the PPS prosecutor and had falsely recorded that authorisation had been given for the immediate caution”.

The officer had previously been disciplined following an internal police investigation, and no further action was recommended.