Statement from Chief Constable George Hamilton in response to Police Ombudsman report “Police failures in investigation of child abuse allegations”

  • 13 September 2018

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“At the heart of this report are three victims abused as children, who were then failed by their police service.

“I apologise unequivocally for the hurt and distress caused to them and for the failures in the police investigation.

“The Police Service of Northern Ireland fully supports the Office of the Police Ombudsman. It is an essential part of the mechanisms by which we can be held to account.

“The report found failures by the RUC in 2000, to share vital information which linked a man to the alleged abuse of children.

“Whilst PONI has stated that they are satisfied that current police practices would not allow such information to go un-investigated today, the report noted other  failures in the PSNI's investigations. These standards fall very short of the high expectations that I and my officers set ourselves and that the public expect."

“I accept the report and we have since implemented all the recommendations made by PONI for changes to PSNI policies.

“There is now a better understanding of the importance and the need to work collaboratively across departments within the organisation.

“I can also assure the community that there have also been many changes to the PSNI since this initial report was made. One of these changes is the introduction of a dedicated Public Protection Branch in 2015, with specially trained officers with overall responsibility for protecting and safeguarding the most vulnerable members in our community and this demonstrates our commitment to building a safe, confident and peaceful Northern Ireland.”