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Last Updated: Monday, 13 February 2006, 20:37 GMT
PSNI complaints 'not political'
Nuala O'Loan
Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan has been in office for five years
Most people who complain about the police do not support a political party, a poll by the Police Ombudsman's Office has indicated.

The survey suggested that the majority of complainants were Protestants while the number of Catholics using the system had fallen slightly.

From November 2000 until March last year, the ombudsman's office received 14,028 complaints about the police.

More than 4,000 people provided details of their background for the survey.

The research came from a survey which the office carried out to meet equality obligations.

In 2004 the office also asked a number of additional questions of people, including one about their political opinions.

The figures for people from the Protestant community have remained fairly steady over the years, while there was a slight drop in the number of Catholics using the system
Nuala O'Loan
Police Ombudsman
Most of the 41% who responded said they did not support any political party.

Of those who said they had an interest in politics, 26% said they supported the DUP.

The figures for the other main parties were SDLP 11%, UUP 8% Sinn Fein 7%, Alliance 3% and other, 4%.

The figures for the five years since the office opened showed that a total of 49% of respondents said they belonged to one of the main Protestant denominations.

Catholics made up 38% of respondents while the remainder described their religion as 'other' or 'none'.

Police Ombudsman Nuala O'Loan said the figures indicated that the people using her office were "broadly reflective of the composition within the community".

"The figures for people from the Protestant community have remained fairly steady over the years, while there was a slight drop in the number of Catholics using the system," she said.

"What may be of particular interest, however, is the fact that the proportion of people who said they did not follow any religious belief has risen from less than 1% to 9%."


SEE ALSO:
Ombudsman at fatal accident scene
28 Jan 06 |  Northern Ireland
Police 'disciplined during riots'
15 Dec 05 |  Northern Ireland


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