The news emerged after the Police Ombudsman today released a report on the incident, which found that the officer had “abused his professional position” when he confronted the man he believed responsible for the collision.
This man (now known as the complainant) then reported the gendarme to the ombudsman.
Few details of the collision were given in the ombudsman’s report, except that it occurred in Downpatrick in November 2019.
The complainant said that shortly after the collision, the police officer and his father came to talk to him at his workplace.
The ombudsman’s report states: âAlthough the officer made no reference at this stage to his membership in the PSNI, the complainant said the officer demanded that he acknowledge his responsibility for the accident.
âHe refused to do so, but said the officer returned the next day and confronted him with the collision in an ‘aggressive and intimidating’ manner.
“During this exchange, he said the officer presented his police warrant card and threatened to have him arrested for dangerous driving if he did not admit responsibility.”
When a police mediator investigator contacted the PSNI, a supervisor confirmed that the officer involved had accepted that the production of his warrant card was inappropriate – which meant “actually putting himself on duty”, according to the report. of the mediator.
The report adds: âThe supervisor then told him not to come into contact with the man.
âDespite this, the officer visited the man the next day, stating that he had done so to apologize for any alarm he had caused by identifying himself as a policeman …
“[T]The officer denied threatening to arrest the man or acting aggressively.
The officer also denied that he improperly accessed driver information on police systems – and police records revealed no evidence that he did.
Ombudsman Marie Anderson recommended that the officer be sanctioned.
When asked about the measures that had been taken, the PSNI told the News Letter: âA complaint was lodged with the Office of the Police Ombudsman, which subsequently made a disciplinary recommendation.
“However, after considering this recommendation and all of the circumstances of this case, it was determined that the matter had already been proportionately addressed by the officer hierarchy through action by management and performance management. “
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