Police launch criminal investigation into care home mistreatment

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Police have launched an investigation into allegations of mistreatment at a Dunmurry care home.

Chief Constable George Hamilton said the move came after officers reviewed the contents of a damning report into standards at Dunmurry Manor Care Home by a watchdog.

The probe by the Commissioner for Older People in Northern Ireland Eddie Lynch, which was published in June, listed a litany of failings in the care provided in the home.

In the wake of report, the Runwood Homes group, which owns Dunmurry Manor, apologised and insisted it had taken steps to address issues raised.

Between 2015 and 2016 police received a number of reports related to the welfare of patients. No prosecutions were pursued.

Mr Hamilton said in light of the report's publication, officers had reviewed those reports in conjunction with the allegations previously unreported to police before deciding, on the advice of prosecutors, to launch the criminal probe.

"There's an investigation under way," he said on Thursday.

"We had meetings in the last couple of days with the Public Prosecution Service.

"As a result of the report that came to light a few months ago we reviewed both the reports that had been made to the police and incidents that hadn't been reported to police.

"We have assessed all those incidents as we normally do. We have now taken advice from the Public Prosecution Service and on the back of that an investigation is under way."

Residents' families have been involved in a high-profile campaign alleging mistreatment of their loved ones at the home. Their complaints sparked Mr Lynch's probe.

It was the first time the commissioner had deployed his investigatory powers.

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