Published Friday, 19 October 2012
The investigation concerns fatal shootings between 1989 and 2010. (© Pacemaker)
Michael Maguire has established a team to examine why there have not been charges or convictions over high-profile murders in the Shankill Road, Belfast.
A statement said: "The Police Ombudsman's Office has confirmed its investigators are to examine allegations brought by a number of families that police failed to properly investigate a series of fatal shootings in north and west Belfast between 1989 and 2010."
The most recent killing under investigation is that of 43-year-old Bobby Moffett, who was shot dead in broad daylight on 28 May 2010.
In its report, the Independent Monitoring Commission at the time said the murder of former loyalist prisoner Mr Moffett had been sanctioned by UVF leaders from the Shankill area.
It is understood the Ombudsman will look into claims that no-one has been charged or convicted over the cases in question because informers were being protected.
A statement from police said: "The PSNI is involved in a major investigation into criminality in north and west Belfast involving the UVF which stretches back over a considerable period of time and which is running parallel to the Police Ombudsman investigation Operation Stafford.
"In addition, the police investigation into the murder of Bobby Moffett remains a live investigation into which police have invested very considerable resources and have gone to substantial length to bring charges.
"The PSNI has left no stone unturned in the Moffett investigation and it is a source of considerable frustration that - to date - we have not been able to bring charges of murder against those involved."
Police appealed for anyone who has further information on the case to come forward.