Inspectorate publishes terms of reference for PSNI-OPONI disclosure review


CJI has published the Terms of Reference for its review of the methods used by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) to disclose information in respect of historic cases linked to the ‘Troubles’ to the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland (OPONI).

The Inspectorate was asked to undertake the work in February 2019 following a request received from the Department of Justice (DoJ).  The request was made by the DoJ after concerns were raised by the OPONI that sensitive material held by the PSNI was not made available to OPONI staff investigating specific events linked to the murder of five people at a betting shop on the Ormeau Road, Belfast in February 1992.  

“CJI has engaged with the PSNI and Police Ombudsman’s Office to develop the Terms of Reference for this review and has met with the Northern Ireland Policing Board to discuss the proposals,” said Chief Inspector Brendan McGuigan.

“Work is currently underway and Inspectors will be meeting with a range of stakeholders as part of this on-going work.

Mr McGuigan continued: “This review will focus on the methods the PSNI use to disclose historic information to the Police Ombudsman’s Office.  As CJI is precluded from carrying out inspections or reviews related to individual cases, the review will not report on the disclosure failings in the specific case which led to the request to undertake this work being made.  Nor will it report on the circumstances of other individual historic cases.

“It is our intention to complete this review within six months and make the finding publicly available,” he concluded.