Review of Police Ombudsman’s Office sought

Dr Michael Maguire, the Police Ombudsman. (Picture Colm O'Reilly Presseye)
Dr Michael Maguire, the Police Ombudsman. (Picture Colm O'Reilly Presseye)

A government body accountable to the director general of MI5 is being sought to carry out a review of the way the Police Ombudsman’s Office in Northern Ireland handles sensitive information.

This follows the alleged theft of confidential documents containing sensitive information from the office.

A consultant solicitor told the News Letter earlier this week that a minimum of eight ex-police officers’ details – four of whom are former Special Branch members and two detectives – were contained in the documents.

A spokesperson for the ombudsman’s office said last night: “It would appear that the theft at the centre of this investigation happened 10 years ago. Even so, we are now looking to bring in the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) to carry out a review which will hopefully give an independent assurance that our present day systems for handling information are robust.”

CPNI, the authority for protective security advice, is accountable to the director general of MI5.