Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Police responding to safety call attacked with bricks

Children as young as twelve were among a group of youths who fired bricks and stones at police responding to an emergency safety call near Newry yesterday (Sunday) afternoon.

Around 12.30pm, the A1, close to the train station, was closed in both directions as police dealt with, what they termed, “an ongoing incident on the bridge”.  Officers from the Tactical Support Group (TSG) had rushed to the scene following reports that a young man had crossed the safety barrier and was threatening to jump from the bridge.  Crews from Newry, Newtownhamilton, Kilkeel, Warrenpoint and Armagh were involved in the task, while specially trained officers engaged with the youth before eventually leading him to safety.

However, while the incident was ongoing, some officers from the TSG were attacked by a group of youths from a nearby housing estate.

PSNI Newry and Mourne reported on its Facebook page that, while dealing with the emergency incident “a TSG crew came under attack by children as young as 12 from the Park Head estate in Newry who thought it would be fun to throw large pieces of masonry”.

Apart from the obvious dangers of a police officer being struck on the head with a brick, the actions of those behind the attack “frustrated” efforts in dealing with the original emergency, the police said.

And parents were urged to take responsibility for their children: “This is totally unacceptable, dangerous and completely pointless. Thank you to all those parents who had control of their children and knew of their whereabouts.  To the parents of the children involved in Sunday’s antics, we would appreciate if you were able to educate your little darlings on the rights and wrongs of society, as well as the dangers it poses to passing motorists. 

“In respect of the original incident, we were able to bring this to a successful conclusion. A further thank you to all additional resources from outside the district who assisted in this,” the message concluded.