Northern Ireland

Matt Baggott meets Historical Enquiries Team head

Historical Enquiries Team logo
Image caption The HET was reviewed by HMIC

Chief Constable Matt Baggott has met with the head of the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) to discuss a highly critical report about its work.

Last week the leading oversight body for UK police said the HET treated killings carried out by the army differently to other cases.

HET has been headed up by Dave Cox, since it was formed eight years ago.

Mr Baggott will now meet policing board colleagues to discuss the meeting.

A statement from the PSNI said:

"The Chief Constable today met with the head of the Historical Enquiries Team to discuss how the recommendations in the HMIC report should be progressed.

"The Chief Constable will now report to the dedicated working group established by the Northern Ireland Policing Board to consider the way forward."

Sinn Féin has called for Mr Cox to go.

The HET was set up to re-examine deaths during the Troubles.

It was criticised in a report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

It said the HET was illegally investigating deaths involving army soldiers with less rigour than cases with no state involvement.

Following the publication of the report on Wednesday, the Policing Board said it had no confidence in the leadership of the HET.

The board said it viewed all HET military case reviews as suspended.

Mr Baggott offered a personal apology to Prof Patricia Lundy, the University of Ulster academic whose research initially raised concerns over the HET and led to the HMIC review.

The chief constable outlined a series of measures he planned to take in response to HMIC's criticisms.

The Policing Board also announced that the recommendations made by the HMIC would be implemented by a working group made up of political representatives and independent figures.

The group will also review police "failures to respond promptly to issues raised in relation to the work of the HET".

The group will begin its work this week and a report on progress is expected later in the year.

HMIC described the HET's approach as "illegal and untenable".

Mr Baggott agreed to a board request to commission the review after criticism of HET in Professor Lundy's University of Ulster report.

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