Retired police worker escapes discipline over treatment of man with ‘mental health issues’ in Tyrone

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No action has been taken against a retired PSNI worker after the Police Ombudsman ruled he had failed in his care of a man with mental health issues at a Tyrone police station.

The Police Ombudsman’s investigation found that the civilian detention officer should be disciplined after a man tried to harm himself with shoelaces that were not removed.

CCTV also showed that he had sworn at the man and “made inappropriate comments of a homophobic and sexual nature when nobody else was around”.

But since the worker in question has retired “no action could be taken against him” in relation to the May 2015 incident.

A statement from the Ombudsman said: “The man, who had previously attempted to take his own life while in police custody, used his shoelaces in a bid to cause self-harm after the detention officer forgot to remove the man’s footwear.

“Enquiries by Police Ombudsman investigators showed that the officer, and a police custody officer, were both aware of a record on a police computer system that the man had tried to take his own life while in police custody four years earlier.

“His shoes had been taken from him when he was initially taken into custody, but the detention officer forgot to remove them again when the man returned to his cell after being interviewed.

“The investigation also found that the police custody officer had not kept the man under adequate observation during his time in custody, given the record about his previous suicide attempt.”

The man was not seriously injured during the incident, but custody staff provided first aid and paramedics attended.