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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Connor Lynch

Police Ombudsman investigation after woman claims she was 'assaulted' and 'stripped by male officers'

The Police Ombudsman has launched an investigation into claims that a woman was "assaulted" and "stripped in her cell" by male officers after a mental health breakdown.

A woman in her 20s says that she was assaulted on numerous occasions at different locations by police officers between March 24 and 28, after they arrived at her home.

The assaults are alleged to have taken place at her Newtownabbey home, the Antrim Area Hospital Triage Room, outside the entrance to the emergency department, in a car outside the emergency department and at the Antrim Custody Suite.

Read more: Former PSNI officer jailed over sexual offences involving underage girls while on duty

The woman also claims that she was refused food and her medication while she was in the custody suite and that she was stripped to her underwear by male police officers.

She also says that police have refused to pay for damage done to the window of her property.

The woman has been charged with a number of offences following the incidents, including resisting arrest and assault on officers.

Speaking to Belfast Live, the woman said: "I have had issues with my mental health for quite some time and last month I was having a lot of difficulty and ended up having a breakdown in my home.

"At some point the police were called, but instead of providing me with support and help with what I was going through, they beat me black and blue and left me covered in blood.

"This continued after I had been taken to hospital, when I was assaulted in the emergency department and in a car outside.

"Then when I was eventually taken into custody I was moved from cell to cell and the officers refused to give me any food or my medication, which caused me to have withdrawals and complications because it is not something that you can just stop.

"At one point I was even stripped down to my underwear by a male officer, without any females being there, which felt like a further violation.

"I had initially complained to the police about this, but don't think that I was taken seriously and had no choice but to report this to the Ombudsman."

The Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland has now launched an investigation into the claims and it is understood it has requested all documentation, body worn cameras and relevant CCTV in connection with the incidents.

An OPONI spokesperson said: “We are investigating a complaint about police actions during a number of incidents in the Antrim and Newtownabbey areas between 24 and 28 March. Our enquiries are ongoing.”

A PSNI spokesperson said: "As this matter is subject to a PONI investigation, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."


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