Northern Ireland

Officer disciplined over failing to properly investigate allegation of assault on boy

A police officer has been disciplined for failing to properly investigate an allegation that a man annoyed by children playing football near his car, assaulted a 12-year-old boy by kicking him on the hand.

It follows a Police Ombudsman investigation which found that the investigating police officer did not obtain statements from the boy's friends about what had happened.

The Public Prosecution Service later directed that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute.

The incident happened in west Belfast in March last year.

The boy's mother alleged that the man had came out of his house with his arms and legs flailing, after the boys' ball went close to his car.

She told a Police Ombudsman investigator that she felt her son had been let down by the police as the alleged perpetrator had suffered "no consequences for his actions".

The investigating police officer was interviewed and said that she had asked for the details of the other witnesses, but could provide no record of having done so.

The Police Ombudsman investigator concluded that the officer had failed to conduct all reasonable enquiries before submitting a file to the Public Prosecution Service and recommended that she should be disciplined.

The PSNI has since implemented the recommendation.