The PSNI has launched an investigation into allegations over the mistreatment of patients at Dunmurry Manor Care Home.
The home, which is located on the outskirts of west Belfast, has come under scrutiny since the publication of a damning report in June from the Commissioner for Older People in Northern Ireland (COPNI), which outlines inhumane and degrading treatment of residents.
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There was also criticism of the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) - the body responsible for overseeing care homes in Northern Ireland - for not identifying earlier the failure at the home.
Police confirmed on Thursday morning a criminal investigation had been launched into allegations "concerning the treatment and care provided to residents at Dunmurry Manor Care Home".
Reacting to the announcement, Sinn Fein MLA Colm Gildernew said the investigation needs to be "through, robust and needs to be concluded as quickly as possible".
“It’s very worrying that a police investigation has to be launched into the care of people in a home," the Fermanagh South Tyrone representative said.
”The Department of Health and the Health Trusts have a responsibility to ensure that vulnerable people have the very highest standards of care.
“That clearly hasn’t been the case in Dunmurry Manor."
He added that his party will be meeting with the PSNI following the announcement a criminal investigation had been launched.
The investigation was also welcomed by SDLP MLA Pat Catney, who said it was "important that the investigation is full and through to ensure that families and victims receive truth and justice for any wrongdoings".
“It is vital that we restore confidence in our residential and nursing care so that families know that their loved ones are safe," he said.
“My party and I will be calling for new safeguarding legislation, which has been called for by the Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, upon the restoration of power-sharing.”