Heavy handed policing raises concerns

November 6, 2012

The Chairperson of Newry and Mourne Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), Councillor Michael Ruane, has expressed his concern about a worrying incident involving the PSNI, which occurred within public view in the early hours of Saturday the 27th of October.

“This incident involved the arrest of a husband and wife and subsequently led to their hospitalisation. The mother was rushed to Craigavon hospital with a suspected heart attack and the father had his arm broken.” explained Cllr Ruane,

“This makes the job of the PCSP, whose remit is to build confidence between the public and the PSNI, incredibly difficult. According to witnesses, the level of force used by the policemen involved cannot be justified. Whilst I accept that this case is now with the Police Ombudsman, this very public incident has, I believe, certainly undermined much of the positive work that we have been involved in creating confidence between the community and the PSNI.”

The Councillor continued,

“We are confident that there are those within the PSNI who are committed to engaging with local communities in an earnest effort to promote safety and prevent crime. In fact the PCSP have highlighted examples of good working relationships with the PSNI and the community where appropriate. However, it is incumbent on the PCSP to monitor police activity and hold the PSNI to account. I intend to ensure as Chair that there is no return to the type of policing we have experienced in the past.”

The Chairperson of the Policing and Community Safety Partnership concluded by confirming that the PCSP would be raising these concerns with the Newry and Mourne area Commander of the PSNI.