PSNI investigate after republicans circulate image of officer

The PSNI have launched an investigation after an image of a police officer was circulated on the internet by some republican web-users.

The posting – which was sent directly to the News Letter via Facebook – was accompanied by a string of outlandish claims about the officer and their behaviour whilst on duty in republican-dominated west Belfast.

The social media account from which it was sent is rife with dissident republican and hardline anti-police messages.

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The News Letter knows of absolutely no evidence to suggest the officer has done anything wrong whatsoever.

The posting of the officer’s image comes about seven months after loyalists (including DUP Ballymena councillor John Carson) shared a close-up picture of an officer online following an altercation between the PSNI and members of a marching band in south Belfast.

On that occasion, the posts were accompanied by an illiterate string of accusations against the officer in question, prompting very strong condemnation.

Asked about this latest posting on the internet, the PSNI told the News Letter: “Police are aware of a post on social media and an investigation has commenced.

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“Police take very seriously when photographs of police officers are posted on social media platforms.

“Police officers are regularly on patrol in the west Belfast area working to disrupt criminals and keep people safe.

“We are aware a complaint has been made to the Police Ombudsman’s office.”