The woman complained to Police in March 2017 that her employer had sexually assaulted her several months earlier. She alerted the officer taking her complaint that a senior officer at the Police station was friends with the alleged offender. Police assured the woman that this senior officer would not be involved in the Police's investigation of the alleged assault, due to his conflict of interest.
Police conducted their investigation and, by March 2018, decided not to lay any charges against the alleged offender. In August 2018, the woman complained to the Authority after seeing the senior officer's name on a document in the Police file. She asked the Authority to review the Police's investigation.
The Authority investigated and concluded that:
"The Police's decision not to prosecute was made after appropriate enquiries, and a robust discussion by experienced officers in respect of evidential sufficiency. The Authority has reviewed the evidence in this case and, while it is finely balanced, cannot conclude that Police came to the wrong decision. Nor did it find a conflict of interest on the part of any officer involved in the investigation", said Authority Chair, Judge Colin Doherty.
The Authority also found that, while an officer had met with the woman to explain the Police's decision not to prosecute in this case, Police breached policy by not following up the discussion with a formal letter outlining the reasons for that decision.
Complaint regarding a sexual assault investigation (PDF 317 KB)