NUJ backs Northern Ireland Policing Board request for urgent meeting with PSNI Chief Constable

  • 09 May 2024

The union welcomed the request by the chair and vice chair of the board for an urgent meeting with  the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) following this week’s revelations around use of surveillance powers to spy on journalists.


The board said its chair Mukesh Sharma and vice-chair Brendan Mullan were seeking a meeting with PSNI Chief Constable Jon Boutcher.

The policing board spokesperson said:

"Following discussions around yesterday's Investigatory Powers Tribunal, the chair and the vice-chair of the board have requested an urgent meeting with the chief constable to seek further clarification and assurance around whether surveillance powers have been used lawfully, proportionately and appropriately in the past.

"At the June board meeting, the board's human rights advisor John Wadham will also provide members with an assessment on whether authorisation policies and procedures were correctly adhered to."

This comes as the NUJ’s Policy Committee condemned the surveillance of journalists and lawyers and called for an emergency meeting of the policing board.

Séamus Dooley, assistant general secretary said:

“We believe a full board meeting should be held and that the Chief Constable should publicly clarify what precisely the PSNI has been up to. There can be no further hiding behind procedures or secret investigatory hearings.  It is encouraging that the officers of the board are taking yesterday’s revelations seriously and it is right that they should seek a meeting, but this is a first step.”

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