Policeman disciplined for creating statements on other officers’ behalf

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A policeman caused the collapse of a prosecution by creating statements on behalf of other officers, the Police Ombudsman has found.

The ombudsman issued a statement today setting out its findings in relation to the matter, which has its roots in December 2015 when a drugs suspect was stopped in Cookstown.

The suspect struggled with police, and no drugs were found.

However, he was arrested for obstructing police and possession of a blade.

The PPS then said that he should be prosecuted and a court date was set.

The office of the Police Ombudsman said in a statement “a summons was sent to one of the officers whose statement had been included in the prosecution file”.

However, “the officer realised that he had never written the statement and advised his supervisor”.

The internal disciplinary branch of the PSNI then launched an investigation which found the statement was one of two which had been submitted to the PPS “without the knowledge of the officers who were supposed to have written them”.

After discovering the statements, the PPS withdrew the prosecution.

When Police Ombudsman investigators interviewed the officer who submitted the file, “he explained that he had written the statements himself on the basis of information contained in police records after the officers involved had failed to supply them”.

The ombudsman’s office added: “He said he had intended to get them typed and signed by the officers, but forgot, and included the handwritten versions in the PPS file by mistake.”

The statements in question were not in fact about the blade and obstruction charges; instead they related to property which was seized from the man.

The Police Ombudsman recommended the officer should be disciplined for creating statements in the name of other officers – something which has subsequently happened.