Three local police amongst suspensions

Three police officers from the district that covers Derry were amongst 26 suspended from duty across the north at the beginning of January.

The PSNI revealed that on January 8, 2014, four inspectors, five sergeants, 15 constables and two part-time constables were suspended. The longest period of suspension was listed as 27 months. Ten of the officers had been suspended for less than two months. According to the Northern Ireland figures as a whole there was a peak in suspensions late last year. Six were suspended in November, 2013 and a further three in December. Releasing the information the PSNI stated: “The range of alleged offences being investigated in relation to the suspensions are as follows: Inappropriate access of police systems, excess alcohol, abuse of authority, fraud, misconduct in public office, breach of firearms (NI) order, sexual offence, criminal damage, disorderly behaviour, drug offences, providing misleading information to authorities, theft harassment, perverting course of justice and mishandling of police property.”

The PSNI says regulations require it to await the conclusion of all criminal proceedings before initiating misconduct proceedings.

It commented: “The PSNI expect its officers to behave with the highest standards of integrity and professionalism at all times.

“Any conduct which brings, or is likely to bring discredit on the Service, will be robustly investigated in order to establish whether or not a breach of the PSNI Code of Ethics occurred.”

Meanwhile it has emerged that PSNI officer has received a written warning after firing a Glock gun at a police station in January. The incident was the sixteenth accidental discharge recorded by the PSNI since March, 2011.

Thirteen other officers were warned about mishandling incidents in the succeeding period.