Man whose cannabis was stolen has complaint rejected by police ombudsman

A man whose cannabis was stolen in a burglary and then complained that police failed to properly investigate has had his complaint rejected by the Police Ombudsman’s office.

The Newtownards man accused police of not investigating the burglary properly after two cannabis plants and £1,300 was stolen

Cannabis plant

Cannabis plant

He said police had failed to seize and examine evidence, or to question potential witnesses.

A spokesperson for the ombudsman’s office said: “A safe hidden in a cabinet containing the sum of money and a number of watches were also stolen in the burglary, which occurred in May of this year in Newtownards.

“On entering the property police had found lighting equipment and a tent which contained a number of cannabis leaves. Officers interviewed the man who admitted growing cannabis plants for his personal use but said he did not know it was a criminal offence.

He was subsequently cautioned for possession and cultivation of a Class B drug.”

The spokesperson continued: “The man told Police Ombudsman investigators that forensic officers had come to the flat after he reported the burglary and had swept the property for fingerprints and DNA evidence.

“He said that when he later found a pair of socks which did not belong to him and may have been used as gloves in the burglary, police refused to take these from him.

“The man also raised concerns about possible witnesses not being contacted after he called to other properties in his apartment block at the end of June to ask if police had spoken to occupants.

However, Police Ombudsman investigators found that, as well as attending the scene with crime scene investigators, police had carried out house to house inquiries and conducted CCTV checks.”

The spokesperson added: “Police had also seized the socks after calling to the man’s flat a few days after the burglary in response to his phone call regarding the items.

“As no failings were identified in the police investigation, no misconduct was found and the complaint was closed as unsubstantiated.”