Policing Board Members have welcomed the follow-up report published today by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) on the Historical Enquiries Team (HET).
The initial report was published on 3 July 2013 and the Board subsequently set up a Working Group to consider the PSNI response to the 20 recommendations made. At the Board’s request the Minister for Justice, David Ford MLA, commissioned HMIC to undertake the follow – up report in July 2014 to consider the response and progress made by PSNI against the recommendations made in the report.
Speaking about the follow-up report Board Chair Anne Connolly said:
“Whilst the work of HET transferred to the Legacy Investigations Branch (LIB) on 1 January 2015, it was very important that this follow-up inspection was concluded by HMIC.
It is encouraging that substantial progress has been made with 10 of the 20 initial recommendations fully implemented, however Board Members are concerned that there are a number of outstanding areas despite the considerable efforts by the Board and the PSNI to progress issues identified in the 2013 report. These can broadly be characterised under 3 headings:
vetting to ensure independence of those undertaking historical enquiries;
the management of intelligence; and
openness and accountability.
These are matters which fundamentally impact on community confidence. The Board is very aware of the impact this report will have on all of the families who are affected by historical investigations. The Board will wish to discuss in much greater detail with the Chief Constable the necessary actions and timescales to remedy the outstanding issues identified by HMIC. Accountability for LIB will be through the Board’s Performance Committee. Discussions will also be needed with the Justice Minister and others in moving forward as it will be important that the lessons to be learned from this follow-up report are not lost in establishing the Historical Investigations Unit.”
For further information please contact the Policing Board’s Communications Branch on 07801 738795
Notes to Editors
HMIC Report: A copy of the HIMC report is available for download.