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Wednesday, 20 March, 2002, 22:55 GMT
Police security breach review heads
Sir John Chilcot will lead inquiry
Sir John Chilcot will lead inquiry
Sir John Chilcot, a former senior civil servant in Northern Ireland, is to head the independent review into the security breach at Belfast's main police centre.

He will be assisted by Sir Colin Smith, a former Thames Valley chief constable and a former member of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary.

Running parallel to the police criminal investigation, Sir John's review will investigate:

  • How unauthorised access was gained to a Special Branch Office
  • The extent of any damage caused to national security
  • The adequacy of action subsequently taken to mitigate any such damage and to prevent unauthorised access there and in similar buildings elsewhere in Northern Ireland

    It will also establish if there are any wider lessens to be learned.

    Sir John will report directly to Dr Reid.

    Sir Colin Smith will act as an assessor
    Sir Colin Smith will act as an assessor

    Sir John Chilcot was the Permanent Under Secretary of State in the Northern Ireland Office from 1990 to 1997.

    He also served in the Home Office and the Cabinet Office.

    Sir John was a key figure in secret contacts with the IRA before the 1994 ceasefire.

    He was a member of the Independent Commission on the Voting System in 1997-8.

    In 1999 he was appointed by the prime minister as staff counsellor for the security and intelligence services and works part time in the Cabinet Office in that role.

    He works as an adviser to security employees who had problems with the nature of their work or personal grievances.

    Sir Colin Smith was the chief constable of Thames Valley police from 1985-91 at the time of the Hungerford shootings.

    He retired as an inspector of constabulary in 2000.

    While he served in the post since 1991, inspecting the Royal Ulster Constabulary was one of his responsibilities.

  • See also:

    20 Mar 02 | Northern Ireland
    The riddle of the stolen files
    20 Mar 02 | Northern Ireland
    Informers: A dangerous assignment
    20 Mar 02 | Northern Ireland
    Security breach inquiries 'damaging'
    19 Mar 02 | Northern Ireland
    Review into 'national security breach'
    18 Mar 02 | Northern Ireland
    Police officer gagged in station attack
    10 Dec 99 | Northern Ireland
    Interrogation centre to close
    08 Jan 02 | Northern Ireland
    Sustained crime crackdown promised
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