Pollock to head NI policing board

Mon, Jul 30, 2012, 01:00

A chief executive whose resignation from the NI Police Ombudsman's office led to serious concerns about its independence has been appointed to head the Policing Board.

Sam Pollock (63) helped force the early departure of former Ombudsman Al Hutchinson after he revealed serious tensions in the office.

He was named Policing Board chief executive today and will earn between £57,000 and £116,000 a year.

Board chairman Brian Rea said: “Mr Pollock brings a wealth of experience to the role and members are looking forward to working with him in the time ahead.”

Mr Pollock resigned from the Ombudsman‘s office in April last year because he had lost confidence in the independence of the office. He held the post for almost 11 years but was involved in a dispute over a pay review.

An independent reviewer was later called in to investigate his claims that the office had been undermined by meddling from senior civil servants in the Department of Justice.

Mr Hutchinson left office early last winter. His resignation followed a series of critical reports, including by the Criminal Justice Inspectorate, and sustained political attacks.

Mr Pollock started work in the criminal justice system in 1972 and has worked in the Probation Service and as governor at the Maze high security jail in the 1970s.

He has said he wants to support the Board and PSNI in the development of accountability and governance of good policing.

PA