PPS statement on Primark fire prosecution decisions

07 June 2022

A PPS spokesperson said: “The PPS has taken decisions to prosecute three companies for alleged health and safety offences following a fire at the Primark building in Belfast city centre on 28 August 2018. The decisions follow a careful consideration of all the available evidence contained in a investigation file submitted by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland in June 2021.

“The prosecutions are in relation to alleged health and safety failings that were discovered as a result of the investigation by the NI Fire and Rescue Service and the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland following the fire.

“Proceedings will commence in due course.”

Guidance:

For clarity, the causation of the fire itself is not an element of the alleged offences. These relate to the alleged failure to, as far as reasonably practicable, safeguard employees and/or failure to ensure non employees were not exposed to risk to their health or safety.

All decisions by the PPS are taken strictly in accordance with the Test for Prosecution, which involves two stages. The Test for Prosecution is met if, in relation to an identifiable suspect, the available evidence is sufficient to provide a reasonable prospect of a conviction (the Evidential Test) and if prosecution is in the public interest (the Public Interest Test).

More information on our decision making processes including the Test for Prosecution can be found on our website