Tag Archives: PSNI

Chief Constable at the Police Service of Northern Ireland Simon Byrne

Last night.

The BBC reported:

The Chief Constable [of the PSNI] Simon Byrne has told Boris Johnson the PSNI will not police any customs checkpoints on the Northern Ireland border after Brexit.

Mr Byrne had a 30 minute video call with the prime minister last Friday.

He also told Mr Johnson he had “no plans to put police officers on any one of 300 crossings” along the border.

Brexit: PSNI ‘won’t police customs checkpoints’, says chief constable (BBC)

Pic: BBC

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris arriving at Leinster House  to attend a Justice Commitee hearing last September

Following reports that Garda Commissioner Drew Harris’s unmarked 4×4 with heavily armed PSNI detectives on board was flung into the air at the gates of Garda HQ in Phoenix Park after a Garda on  duty activated a security bollard…

“Gardai and the Irish Defence Forces are the only service permitted to carry fire arms in the republic. That’s where the law is.

There are exceptions in some cases. Regrettably Drew Harris could be a target because of his former membership of the PSNI/RUC and his connections to the British security forces. Every care has to be taken with his protection. Measures for his security must be taken in a legal and proportional and appropriate way.

It is not standard operating procedure that an armed PSNI escort would travel to Garda headquarters to protect the Commissioner of An Garda Siochana. The officers concerned have no authority to carry firearms.”

Retired Detective Chief Superintendent John O’Brien on RTÉ Radio One dismissing the Garda’s explanation that a PSNI jeep with armed police bringing the Commissioner into the Republic was “normal procedure”.

‘Not normal procedure’ for PSNI officers to carry guns into Republic of Ireland, former top cop says after Garda HQ crash (irish Mirror)

PSNI escort for Harris to Dublin ‘most unusual’ decision (Irish Times)

Rollingnews

This afternoon.

Further to the death of three teenagers – Lauren Bullock, 17, Morgan Barnard, 17, and 16-year-old Connor Currie – at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone on St Patrick’s night when there was a “crush” in the car park of the hotel.

A statement from Deputy Chief Constable Stephen Martin has been released this afternoon, stating:

“The ongoing investigation into the tragic events at the Greenvale Hotel is active and wide ranging.

“As part of that investigation, it is right and proper that the actions of all those involved are considered.

“Part of the investigation has included a review of the initial police response.

“The first police officers arrived at the hotel grounds shortly after receiving the 999 report.

“Following their initial assessment they made attempts to establish more detail and information about what was happening and subsequently withdrew to await further police support.

“When the first ambulance arrive police moved forward in support of them.

“The timing and nature of police actions during this period require further investigation to fully establish the facts.

“The Chief Constable has therefore decided that the initial police response should be subject to independent scrutiny and it is in the public interest to refer the circumstances and the nature of the actions of the first officers arriving at the scene to the Police Ombudsman.

“The family have been informed of the referral.

“The confidence of the families and the confidence of the communities we serve are at the forefront of our minds in our decision to refer this matter to the Police Ombudsman.

“We will work with the Ombudsman to support whatever action he undertakes and would ask that people do not speculate or prejudge the outcome of the Ombudsman’s investigation.”

Previously: ‘A Very Complex Investigation’

From top: Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, PSNI Detective Chief Supt Raymond Murray speaking to journalists at a press conference in Dungannon today

This morning.

In Dungannon, Co Tyrone.

PSNI Detective Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray, at a press conference, called on people who were at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, on Sunday night, to come forward and to speak to the police.

They’re also appealing for any pictures or footage taken on the night to be given to the PSNI.

It follows the deaths of Lauren Bullock, 17, Morgan Barnard, 17, and 16-year-old Connor Currie during a “crush” in the car park of the hotel on Sunday night.

Mr Murray told the journalists present that between 350 and 400 people may have been in the carpark during the “crush” and that the PSNI wants to speak to as many of those people as possible.

He said about 160 of those 400 have so far come forward.

He also said that anyone who was underage at the licensed premises should not be concerned about any legal repercussions in relation to that.

He said:

“That is not an issue in this investigation. It should be an inhibition to any young person coming forward and telling us what they know.”

“The absolute focus in this investigation is about finding out how three teenagers came to die at what should have been a celebratory event, and what happened before that and what happened during that.”

Mr Murray also encouraged parents of young people who were present to speak to their children and encourage them to tell them to go to the police.

He said:

“That is absolutely critical to us getting an accurate picture of what happened that night. And I think we owe it to Connor and to Lauren and to Morgan to do everything we can to establish what exactly happened.”

Asked by a journalist if the PSNI, who have examined CCTV footage of the hotel, are close to understanding what happened at the hotel on Sunday night, Mr Murray said:

“I think we have some initial indications of what has happened. I don’t want to go into too many of them, as you understand. I’m in the middle of a very, very complex investigation.

“However, what we can say, without a shadow of a doubt, it’s been widely reported, is that it was a crush situation and one of the doors, which would have taken you through eventually into the function room, where the event was to be held, this crush appeared to go on for quite a period of time.

“And that is the focus of our investigation.

“However, we will be looking more generally about how the event was run, how it was planned for, all of that was part of what is going to be a long and complex investigation.”

Mr Murray also said many more than three people could have died on Sunday night.

PSNI Cookstown (Facebook)

UPDATE:

Fight!

Dale Pankhurst?

Joe Brolly and Paeder Heffron

On Sunday, Joe Brolly in the Sunday Independent reported that a former PSNI  Police Service of Northern Ireland] constable was ‘ostracised’ by his GAA club after joining the force.

Paeder Heffron was left in a wheelchair following a dissident republican car bomb in 2010.

Mr Heffron said he was frozen out of games by Kickhams Creggan in County Antrim and ignored by teammates, with republicans ” approaching him in a changing room and handing him a leaflet warning of the dangers of joining the PSNI”.

Shayna O Neill writes:

The PSNI have opened recruiting as of October 23  this year. The aim of the PSNI is to have a balanced force of 50/50 Catholics/Protestants, under The Patton Report – currently it’s @15-25% Catholic,depending on which figures you are given, or believe.

Growing up, we had the RUC, who seemed to have a licence to unleash some form of justice against Catholics. I’m living back in the North of Ireland for a few years now, I have to say the PSNI seem okay.

The GAA have let one of their own down. I feel ashamed that I associate and am a member of the GAA.

Joe Brolly: Spurned, bombed and maimed by his own kind (Independent.ie)

Pic: Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 12.41.30

A still from a PSNI video as part of a campaign to raise awareness about hate crimes

The Police Service of Northern Ireland PSNI has launched a new campaign to highlight hate crimes.

They have released a series of 30-second videos, narrated by victims describing their own personal experiences.

Among them is Broadsheet contributor Shayna O’Neil, who is undergoing gender reassignment.

Shayna was asked to take part in the campaign after being assaulted and driven from her home in Tyrone.

Shayna writes:

Hate crime encompasses race, religion, sectarianism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and disabled-phobia.

I have to say that I wasn’t aware that disabled-phobia was a ‘thing’ – and frankly shocked that it exists, but apparently it does and the PSNI recorded 134 incidents of disability hate crime in the last financial year.

An instance of a sustained regime of attacks against a wheelchair-bound gentleman in West Belfast will feature in the series.

Following Brexit, it appears that a growing number of incidents of race hate crime in England have been reported. Fortunately, this has not been the case in Northern Ireland but this is a timely pro-active campaign by the PSNI.

The first video to be released was designed to coincide with the launch of the Belfast Pride Festival.

The message is designed to encourage people to think about the impact hate crime incidents have on the victim and the long-lasting physiological and emotional damage it can cause.

Superintendent Paula Hilman who is the PSNI Silver lead for hate crime said she hoped the campaign would help encourage not just victims but the wider community to report incidents of hate crime to PSNI.

Supt Hilman told me:

“We know that hate crime is an under reported crime and, as a result, we need to ensure victims have the confidence to report these incidents. We also hope that by sharing the voices of victims that we will encourage people to think about the human impact of these wholly unjustified and unacceptable attacks. There is a collective responsibility on all parts of society to protect vulnerable communities and we would encourage to report concerns or suspicious activity to the police. We need this information from communities to support arrests and make subsequent prosecutions and put an end to all forms of hate crime.”

I can only comment on my own experience and admit to being entirely tentative about contacting the PSNI following my assault.

In fact, it was three days after the incident that I finally reported it. The officers who dealt with me were sympathetic and importantly, respectful of me. They encouraged me to pursue the case to court.

The assault took place in my local store at lunchtime one Sunday. The store was very busy, but apparently with a shop full of witnesses, no-one saw anything? The whole scene was caught on the store’s CCTV, which ensured a conviction of my attacker.

Interestingly, on the day of my court case, the defendant had pleaded, “not guilty”, under advisement of his brief, in the hope that I would feel too intimidated to make an appearance – in which instance, the case would be dismissed.

The PSNI sent a car for me, to take me to court, and I was accompanied by the investigating officer. Clearly, the news of my arrival had filtered down to my attacker’s barrister, and he changed his plea to “guilty”.

I didn’t have to give testimony. He (my attacker) received a three-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay £100 compensation.

I’m not advocating for the PSNI, merely sharing my own positive experience on how they deal with hate crime. They do take it seriously. Victim, or witness to a hate crime – it should be reported.

Hate crime reporting (PSNI)

Update:

irish_news.750

An improvised grenade launcher claimed by the ‘IRA’ to have been used to attack the PSNI in North Belfast

Police officers guarding a notorious interface say they have been left like “sitting ducks” following a surge in dissident republican attacks, including a recent rocket attack.

It is claimed the police presence between Ardoyne and Twaddell Avenue in north Belfast has been scaled back in recent months because of budget pressures on the PSNI.

One officer said while patrolling the area they feel their every move is being watched by dissidents and they fear further attempts on their lives.

A senior police officer said the PSNI was making every effort to protect both its officers and the public.

On Sunday evening a man ran out of Brompton Park with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher before firing it at a PSNI Land Rover close to the loyalist camp at Twaddell.

The lethal device passed through the vehicle’s outer skin but ricocheted off heavier armour on the driver’s side. The officers inside were badly shaken but uninjured.

It was the third attempt to murder police officers at the interface in the past year.

Police: we’re sitting ducks (Chris Kilpatrick, Belfast Telegraph) [not currently available online]