PSNI chief constable must be suspended pending a probe into his actions, just as he suspended a junior constable

As the Policing Board are meeting today it is imperative that they act as soon as possible to ensure public confidence in policing is restored.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 9:45 am
Updated Thursday, 1st April 2021, 12:08 pm
PSNI Chief Constable Simon Bryne during a press conference about prosecutors' decision not to prosecute anyone over the Bobby Storey funeral. He suspended a junior constable over their policing of an Ormeau Road massacre memorial, and he in turn should now be suspended. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

Following the fiasco of the Bobby Storey funeral and the revelations that senior police officers were complicit in organising the funeral ‘parade’ the board must act and immediately suspend the chief constable and any other senior officers involved until an inquiry establishes the legitimacy of their actions.

The chief constable was swift in his determination to suspend a constable over actions at a memorial service at Graham’s bookies on the Ormeau Road in Belfast and he must be dealt with in a similar fashion.

The board are the employers of the chief constable and any other chief officer and it is they that can sanction him or any other chief officer.

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Ross M Hussey is a former Ulster Unionist member of the Policing Board

Legal advice must be sought, and immediate suspensions follow.

I understand the Police Ombudsman’s office has received a complaint but I firmly believe Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary or an outside force must be called in to investigate the actions of senior command at PSNI.

If the board fail to act their credibility is going to be zero.

This is one crisis that could have been averted, but by political manipulation, the senior command team have been sucked into a tornado that is going to wreck all before it.

At no time should Sinn Fein representatives been allowed to manipulate the law or the police to suit their objectives but there is no doubt in my mind that they have on this occasion and that PSNI have been left out to dry.

A separate review of the actions of DPP and PPS should also be instigated but that is a separate issue as confidence in both these offices must be at an all time low.

• Ross M Hussey Former Ulster Unionist member of the Policing Board

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