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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 June 2007, 05:19 GMT 06:19 UK
Hain appoints new PSNI ombudsman
Al Hutchinson
Al Hutchinson is to take over from Nuala O'Loan
Former Police Oversight Commissioner Al Hutchinson has been appointed to succeed Nuala O'Loan as police ombudsman, the NI Secretary has said.

Peter Hain said the government was pleased to have secured his services.

Originally from Canada, Mr Hutchinson is a graduate of Carleton University, Ottawa and Queen's University, Belfast.

Before his appointment as oversight commissioner in 2004, he served in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for nearly 34 years.

"Nuala O'Loan has done an outstanding job in establishing a reputation for rigour and independence and has set a template for the future," Mr Hain said.

"This appointment was made after a rigorous selection process which adhered to public appointment guidelines.

"I am impressed by the strong public record and extensive knowledge of policing issues in Northern Ireland that he will bring to the post."

Mr Hutchison, 59, is expected to take over from Mrs O'Loan next November.

He said he was pleased to have been selected for such a vital and challenging position and he was looking forward to it.

"As oversight commissioner I have witnessed at first hand the tremendous changes made in policing within Northern Ireland," he added.

The role of the oversight commissioner was created as a result of the recommendations of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland to monitor the implementation of the Patten reforms.

Although totally independent, the commissioner was required to report to parliament through the secretary of state for Northern Ireland three times a year.

The commissioner's role effectively came to an end with the production of his last report in May.

Mr Hutchinson has experience of economic crime, drug enforcement, VIP protection, public order, human resources and organisational change management.




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