Bid to breach witness protection scheme

Published Wednesday, 30 July 2014
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A woman is set to appear in court on charges related to attempting to uncover the identities of people placed into the PSNI's witness protection scheme.

Bid to breach witness protection scheme
The woman was arrested earlier in the week. (© UTV)

The 32-year-old was arrested in Belfast on Monday on suspicion of collecting information likely to be useful to terrorists and misconduct in public office.

She was charged on Wednesday.

The charges relate to information obtained by the woman during the course of her employment with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive in an attempt to identify persons who are currently under the PSNI witness protection scheme.

She will appear at Laganside Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

A 28-year-old woman, also arrested on Monday, was released on Tuesday pending further enquiries.

A PSNI spokesman said: "The Police Service of Northern Ireland takes its witness protection obligations extremely seriously and continually reviews measures to keep individuals safe.

"Under the terms of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, it is an offence to disclose the identities of individuals subject to protection arrangements. As such, police will not be doing so in this case."

As is normal procedure, the charges will be reviewed by the Public Prosecution Service.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
No privacy anymore in Belfast wrote (183 days ago):
All well and good that this was stopped but it highlights the ease of access to information. What about ordinary people? What measures are the housing executive or the civil service in general going to put in place to prevent personal information being accessed by their staff. The current system of the screen might freeze one a week for a random check is not working
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