£10m funding boost for North's historic cases unit

The police ombudsman’s office in the North will double the number of staff working on historical troubles cases following a £10m (€12m) funding injection, it was announced.

Almost 40 people will address more than 100 incidents referred by police and members of the public.

Ombudsman interim chief executive Colin Lewis said: “It was obvious to me that the office simply did not have the resources to complete its historical investigations in a timely manner.

“The Department of Justice, accepting this, has approved the release of additional money, which is excellent news, particularly for many families who have been waiting patiently to have issues related to the deaths of their loved ones investigated.

“This decision brings some much-needed clarity to the task ahead.”

The extra funding over six years comes as the ombudsman’s office prepares for the announcement of a new ombudsman.

Al Hutchinson departed in February following a series of critical reports about relations at his office.

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