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The role of the Police Ombudsman (NI)

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

What is the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland?

The Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland was set up in Northern Ireland in 2000 as part of the Good Friday Agreement, signed in 1998. It is completely independent of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and carries out investigations about the PSNI. Results of all investigations are published on their website ( for everyone to read. This helps to demonstrate how it provides a fair police complaints system and this promotes confidence among the public.

The Police Ombudsman of Northern Ireland is made up of professional investigators, who gather evidence to:

  1. investigate members of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) who have behaved unprofessionally.

  2. investigate complaints made about police officers.

  3. investigate any time when a firearm or baton rounds were fired.

  4. investigate road traffic accidents involving police officers.

  5. investigate any death that may have occurred as a result of the action of police officers.

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