Undercover police officers to be probed over conversation with alleged drug dealer

The Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland (PONI) has opened an investigation into tactics used by undercover PSNI officers in attempting to recruit someone as an informant.

A complaint was lodged by Madden & Finucane Solicitors on behalf of a man who said police officers had promised him protection from an investigation into alleged drug dealing.

The officers also offered to point the “finger of blame” at someone else.

Solicitor Ciarán Shiels said: “We confirm that yesterday we lodged a detailed complaint with the Police Ombudsman’s office in relation to the meeting Special Branch officers held with a person whom they were attempting to recruit as an agent earlier this year.

“The Ombudsman now has a full transcript of the encounter and we welcome the fact that he has, this afternoon, announced a rigorous investigation into the covert policing methods employed.

“We also confirm that we have been in contact with a number of individuals named by the officers whom they suggested ‘pointing the finger of blame’ at for their prospective agent’s activities with them concerning whatever information he was to provide.

“They intend to give the Ombudsman’s office any assistance he requires and we are currently advising them in relation to the legal remedies now available to them.”