Police investigating fraud allegation at council

Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council buildings in Coleraine, County Londonderry
The investigation is the latest controversy to emerge in recent years at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council [BBC]

Police are investigating an allegation of fraud at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.

A council official has been suspended, sources have told BBC News NI.

It is understood no arrests have been made and no equipment has been seized from the council at this stage.

The council has declined to comment.

In a statement, a Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) spokeswoman said: "Police received a report of fraud on Friday 24 May.

"Enquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances."

Stormont's Department for Communities, which oversees local government in Northern Ireland, was also approached for comment.

The investigation is the latest controversy to emerge in recent years at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.

An extraordinary audit found in 2022 that a culture existed of "bypassing best practice and guidance to get land deals done".

In 2023, Northern Ireland's public services ombudsman said issues raised in a £20m hotel planning process were "closed down and ignored".

The council has previously said changes have been made to its land and property procedures and pledged to "comply with its obligations to ratepayers and stakeholders".