Statement on the Report and information requested by the Board in respect of the surveillance of journalists and lawyers

Speaking about the Report Policing Board Chair Mukesh Sharma said: 

“At today’s monthly meeting Board Members considered a report requested and received from the Chief Constable in respect of the surveillance of journalists and lawyers.

To provide assurance that authorisation policies and procedures were correctly adhered to, the Board has agreed that its Human Rights Advisor John Wadham should now review the information on which the report received has been based, and provide his assessment to the June Board meeting. 

In the interests of openness and transparency, the Board has also asked the Chief Constable to produce a further report which provides the Board and the wider public with the necessary level of assurance.

The PSNI, and all policing services, have access to a range of intrusive surveillance powers. Whilst this work is now highly regulated, given recent revelations there is a public interest issue around whether powers have been used lawfully, proportionately and appropriately in the past, particularly in sensitive areas such as this.”