“until we’re satisfied that it’s safe to do so..”

I had previously noted the rise in the number of people who have been told their lives were under threat from paramilitaries in Londonderry. It’s not clear yet whether the man shot dead last night, at around 12.45 am, “by a group of possibly masked men” was one of those under threat, but it’s an indication as to why those threats are being taken seriously. As is the police response

Chief Inspector Chris Yates said it was a “cold blooded shooting” and that police were at the scene “as soon as was practical”. Fr McLaughlin, who raised concern about the police response, said: “It would have been 0330 BST or later than that actually before they (the police) began to cordon off the location.” “Certainly, local people mentioned to me that they were somewhat bewildered that police didn’t appear until that point.”

Chief Inspector Chris Yates said: “Within ten minutes of the call coming in it was confirmed the victim was en route to hospital and there was no risk to him from us not attending the scene. He said that “the initial call was that the marksmen were lying in wait in the area”. “So under those circumstances, and with the recent terrorist incident in Fermanagh in which two police officers were nearly killed, we’re not going to go rushing blindly into an area until we’re satisfied that it’s safe to do so.”

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  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    Classic! A “marksman” in the area. Perhaps he was in the book depository but locals say they saw smoke from a grassy knoll. I’ll bet there was an accomplice in the floodlights shooting people at the sports stadium.

    Who told the police of a “marksman” and how on earth would the caller have known? Or did the cops get a call from Special Branch telling them not to go in because they know who did the shooting and wanted to make sure their informer got away. Sorry if that last idea is too far-fetched.

    In an unrelated issue, a case has been stopped in London because of a Law Lords ruling that the case relied too much on unidentified witnesses giving evidence from behind screens. What now for the McCartney trial, eh?

  • crow

    PSNI are a disgrace.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    The last remaining elements of the Nationalist ambivalence towards the rule of law which has existed since partition needs to be removed. Having Irish (Nationalist and Unionist) people -even at a symbolic level – running the Police and Justice system would surely help in that process.

    Even if Unionists think that SF are unfit for this role because of their links with ‘terrorism’ surely they at least understand this arguement. Perhaps they feel that by conceding this point theey would be somehow admitting that Nationalists ambivalence was justified.

  • Driftwood

    Surely a case for the retention of some military back up for the PSNI (in addition to Army Technical Officers) and keeping Shackleton Barracks an operational concern?

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Driftwood,

    if you want to breathe life into a dying ideology then the British army just the ticket.

  • jone

    He was Emmett Shiels aged 22 and from Tyrconnel Street in the Bogside.

    INLA are in the frame.

  • Dublin Exile

    The response to this murder from some ‘republicans’ is laughable – a young man is murdered and their kneejerk reaction is to blame the police? PATHETIC.

  • Driftwood

    Sanmmy, the British Army are still operational in bomb disposal here (ATO’s etc), or perhaps that role could be “civilianised”. Bomb disposal assistants wanted, starting pay £12,000, rising to £14,000 after 3 years…

  • circles

    Dublin Exile – read the posts again before you engage your own knee jerk! Nobody has blamed the police for this murder – people are rather wondering why it took the police almost 3 hours to get on to the scene.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Driftwood,

    you were suggesting an increase in their existing role.

    Dublin Exile,

    re. blaming the police – I agree it sounds ridiculous – like trying to blame the police for the Omagh bomb. But having said that people are entitled to express their views about police handling of the case – as long as we dont lose sight of who are the real cuprits.

  • Neither is acceptable.

    Both the killing of the young man, and the 3 hours wait for the police to get to the scene should be condemned.

    What happens to forensic evidence if the police delay things for 3 hours?

    All of it is totally unacceptable.

  • Rapunsel

    Even BBC radio ulster are in the act stating this morning that those who done it were ” mainly responsible” what about totally fucking responsible. The way these pathetic bastards will be caught is by everyone in the Bog, Brandywell and Creggan and elsewhere in Derry letting the peelers know everything they know , criticism of the pelers is fair enough but my fear is that kneekerk recations not based on facts create a situation where people won’t come forward with what they know .

  • Grassy Noel

    And the liberation of the Irish people continues…

    So far, folks, since the Good Friday Agreement has been signed, over 40 Irish people have been liberated from their lives by these groups.

    All of them completely unnconnected to any British Military Machine – and the overwhelming majority of them were nationalists.

  • Driftwood

    If the murder of anyone had taken place in London, and police didn’t feel safe to approach the crime scene for 3 hours, methinks there would be an enquiry.
    Whoever took the decision to hold back better have a bloody good reason.
    As for the murderers, well,let’s hope the community speaks out, but even if they all know who they were, there still needs to be evidence.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Driftwood,

    it is reasonable for the police – where there is a genuine chance of attack on them – to hold back – and that is what they said.

    As mentioned above the sooner Police and Justice is transferred to Non Iron the better this will further isolate those who claim to oppose ‘British’ rule in Non iron.

  • Dublin Exile

    Circles –
    My earlier annoyance came not from posters here but from the comments phoned in to Radio Foyle all morning. It seems that for some people apprehending the murderers is secondary to baiting the police.

  • West Belfast

    What Im about to say will upset some but Im making a point.

    I supported the PIRA in what I saw as a war against oppression and occupation. Many will strongly disagree with that statement – I understand that but its my truth.

    I now support the peaceful way forward that has been negotiated by all. The ways of the RIRA, CIRA and INLA are wrong – I do not know anyone who supports them, even those who oppose SF.

    For the sake of all Irishmen and Irishwomen stop this now and go away – we dont support you.

  • Driftwood

    it is reasonable for the police – where there is a genuine chance of attack on them – to hold back – and that is what they said.

    Sammy, if a murder has been committed, there should be no excuse for not intervening immediately, if that means military back up, no big deal. SF signed up to support the 5000 strong British Army garrison here, if they’re available, why not use them? Rather than sitting around Thiepval and Ballykinler etc, they could lend a hand. No-one would object if they were called upon to help look for a missing child.

  • It was Sammy Mc Nally what done it

    Drfiftwood,

    “No-one would object if they were called upon to help look for a missing child”

    That’s a fair point. But this is different, I have no doubt SF would be completley against it and it would be a propaganda coup for any dissidents with attacks deliberately designed to get the soldiers on the streets.

    Get the DUP to sign up to Police and Justice and if problem persists train/arm a section of the police appropriately.

  • circles

    OK Exile – gotcha. As I didn’t hear radio foyle I can’t comment on that, but I would say that the cops responded in an atrocious fashion to this murder.
    The sad situation is at that moment that there will almost always be the possibility of attack on the police if they turn up somewhere – not that they are so tremendously unpopular but simply because the possibility is there.
    Now does this mean that the cops won’t be making any more house calls? That if you commit a gun crime your chances of escaping are better (after all you’d be too dangerous to investigate immediately)? That the police are only interested in “safe” crime?

  • KieranJ

    “not that they are so tremendously unpopular”

    Who says so?

  • Driftwood

    and if problem persists train/arm a section of the police appropriately.
    Thought they had this already Sammy

    That the police are only interested in “safe” crime?
    Strong probabilty on that circles, maybe not only, but let’s see if prosecutions are forthcoming..

  • picador

    The tardiness of the cops is a side issue.

    What bunch of goons killed this fella and why?

    And what are people going to do about it?

    Hint: blaming the cops does not wash

  • Peat Blog

    We continue to reap what we have sown…

  • Harry Flashman

    I’m afraid the tardy response of the peelers whilst deplorable is a consequence of what we signed up for in the Good Friday Agreement. We wanted softly softly policing apparently, we didn’t like paramilitary style policing, we hated seeing macho cops rushing in with riot gear and armoured land rovers with the Army backing them up and to hell with what the locals think.

    Well that’s fine if that’s what you want but actions have consequences. The cops get word there’s been a shooting, well the appropriate reaction would be armoured response vehicles rushing to the scene with sirens screaming and lights flashing, troops sealing off the surrounding streets, searches of the property of local people, helicopters buzzing overhead, all that kind of stuff but no one wants that any more.

    They want Dixon of Dock Green, they want policemen quietly and diligently going about their business in soft caps and civilian cars politely and discreetly asking the public to assist them in their enquiries.

    But it’s Creggan. It’s midnight.

    Sorry folks, you don’t get to have it both ways.

  • Driftwood

    Another quietly forgotten victim then. Treated in much the same way as a missing labrador. The gravy train keeps a rollin’..