Motion Calling on Police Ombudsman's Immediate Resignation Secures Backing of Omagh District Council
Published: 2 November, 2011
At the November meeting of Omagh District Council, West Tyrone Sinn Fein Councillor Glenn Campbell proposed a Sinn Fein motion calling on Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson to immediately resign following the latest critical report of the Ombudsman's office. The motion was carried, despite opposition from Unionist Councillors who were present.
Addressing the chamber in support of the motion Councillor Campbell said,
"It is the view of our party, and we are seeking the support of this Council, that the Ombudsman Al Hutchinson should resign without delay. The Criminal Justice Inspectorate report is the third critical report into the Ombudsman's Office and it serves as a damning indictment of the leadership that Al Hutchinson has shown."
Cllr Campbell continued,
"The Ombudsman's Office can be an important mechanism to ensuring we have accountable policing. However, with the independence of that office being once again called into question, its credibility has reached an all time low. In early September, before the Assembly Justice Committee, Al Hutchinson admitted that damage has been done to the Office of the Ombudsman and he must carry full responsibility for that damage."
Concluding Cllr Campbell said,
"This society clearly requires an independent and effective Police Ombudsman to safeguard the rights of all our citizens. The sooner Al Hutchinson leaves the sooner we can begin the process of repairing the damage that has been done to the reputation of this office. Any delay in his resignation will only cause more damage to the office and the publics' confidence in it."
Notes to Editor:
Full text of motion from last nights Council meeting:
"Omagh District Council agrees that following the 3 recent damning reports which highlight the lowering of operational independence of the Ombudsman's Office, this council calls for the immediate resignation of the Ombudsman Al Hutchinson in order to begin the restoration of public confidence within this Office."