PSNI take evasive tactical action against armed group…

Meanwhile in other news…

According to one local source, a small number of men carrying rifles stopped motorists in the mainly nationalist Border village between Newry and Dundalk on Friday and distributed leaflets. It is believed locally that the men were dissident republicans. An unknown number of others were said “to be in the background” where the checkpoint was operated and the leaflets handed out.

The leaflets, which were also handed out in the locality, advised locals not to co-operate with the PSNI, the Garda, Sinn Féin or MI5 British intelligence agents. The leaflets are also believed to contain warnings against anti-social activity and drugs offences. PSNI officers who were patrolling the area at the time of the incident said they deliberately did not intervene and evaluated the situation from a distance. [emphasis added]

Adds: Ahem, not paying attention…

  • Neil

    Word is they saw the guns and split. No surprise there, cops do not risk the safety of cops over that of people.

  • Scaramoosh

    Why did they not inform the Garda Síochána?

  • exile
  • random_quotes

    So Neil, can you not imagine the scenario whereby the police assessed the situation, did not see any immediate threat to the public, but felt that if they rolled up alongside the men with the ak47’s they may put not only themselves, but the public in more danger?

  • exile

    [i]can you not imagine the scenario whereby the police assessed the situation, did not see any immediate threat to the public[/i]

    Come on. This is getting ridiculous. So as the situation now stands, one can parade around the north of Ireland’s streets with a machine gun and expect the police to run away scared from the situation? The very fact that these thugs brought guns out on to the street represents a clear danger and threat to the public – yes, the very public that Pádraic Pearse’s heirs claim to represent.

  • random_quotes

    I didn’t say the situation wasn’t ridiculous, but as you quoted me on, I said ‘immediate’ danger.
    What do you propose the police do? Just drive up and handcuff them, or go in all guns blazing and face the rath of the ombudsman once they found out the guns were, in fact, replicas etc etc?

  • abu nicola

    I don’t think the police acted irresponsibly. It would have been foolhardy to rush in guns blazing. It was appropriate to report back and have senior officers develop a plan to deal with the situation.

  • oldruss

    The PSNI’s actions in this instance is not unlike the action of the PSNI in Coleraine in May when Kevin McDaid was murdered by a mob. That situation was brewing for a good while before it turned violent, and yet the PSNI were conspicuous by their absence when it did. I guess the best that can be said is that in these two instances at least the PSNI seem to be applying an even hand to both sides.

  • random_quotes

    There you are Mick,
    by inadvertently re-posting on a topic that had already been discussed we have reached a consensus on the issue (minus the four pages of crap the other post managed to spew!)

  • exile

    [i]What do you propose the police do? Just drive up and handcuff them, or go in all guns blazing and face the rath of the ombudsman once they found out the guns were, in fact, replicas etc etc? [/i]

    No. Dread Cthulhu(?) outlined how he thought the police should have dealt with the sitaution on Pete Baker’s thrad and I subscribe fully to his way of thinking.

    There is a continuum from which the police can decide to act which runs from doing fuck all to going in all guns blazing.

    It’s about time the cops put down a marker. They don’t seem to have any problem with directing high-powered water cannons at Catholic louts but they seem reticent to act when a psychotic loyalist mob are on the loose or at the first sight of four clowns parading around with weapons (well real ones anyways).

  • dunreavynomore

    Oh no we haven’t.

  • Neil

    So Neil, can you not imagine the scenario whereby the police assessed the situation, did not see any immediate threat to the public, but felt that if they rolled up alongside the men with the ak47’s they may put not only themselves, but the public in more danger?

    Ok, in that case, can you foresee any set of circumstances where an armed person in public could be apprehended by the PSNI? Or is it the case if a person is in public with a machine gun they cannot be approached by the PSNI, as if the PSNI approach said person they might shoot someone?

    I understand your point, however I have plenty of personal experience having seen the PSNI pussy out of trouble plenty of times. And as Oldruss rightly points out this is the same police force that allowed McDaid to be murdered through their cowardice, the same PSNI who escorted a mob through Larne to people’s doors so they could be intimidated.

    The PSNI’s actions in Larne were described by one of the applicants for Orde’s job as ‘policing through cowardice’, I agree with him, that’s the PSNI’s MO. This is the same, cowardice, and if you’re argument is applied across the board then people can carry guns without worrying of reproach, hey if the cops approach the gun toting locals then someone might shoot something so it’s better all round if we let them keep their guns and fuck off back to HQ for a cuppa. Cowards, plain and simple.

  • DK

    More frightening for the motorists being stopped than the psni. Instead of giving out leaflets, next time they’ll be checking passports for prod-sounding names.

  • random_quotes

    To be fair I posted that in hope rather than expectation.
    As far as I could see Dread Cthulhu arrived at some sort of computer game scenario where you call in a sniper team to take out the men armed with guns and leaflets!?
    I take your point Neil on the Larne and McDaid scenarios, but this one is different imho.
    Exile – so you believe calling in a sniper every time someone is spotted holding a gun is the way forward?

  • the future’s bright, the future’s orange

    surely the cops should have kept their distance and observed. Call back up, block off all surrounding roads to prevent civilians entering the area, then brought in the heavies.
    That said, if this escalated to a full-scale shooting match then the peace process would be in tatters.
    More likely they radioed in and the powers that be told them to bugger off the leave ‘the lads’ to it. now that is what i would call political policing! In addition, the whole thing could have been an ambush = ie to get cops to arrive on the scene. Who knows???

  • Loki

    Time to invite the National Rifle Association of America over to explain why guns are so good and help the community bond

  • Dread Cthulhu

    random_quotes: “As far as I could see Dread Cthulhu arrived at some sort of computer game scenario where you call in a sniper team to take out the men armed with guns and leaflets!?”

    Hardly.

    Thugs with guns — makes it sound like a couple of punks with Saturday night specials. What you had was a pair of paramilitary hoods with AK-47 assault rifles. The leaflets are of no import.

    A computer game would simply be a pair of head shots.

    You offer the hoods a chance to surrender — last I checked, there are laws against paramilitary displays and, y’know, illegal firearms. If they choose poorly, you apply the full force of the law upon the criminals — I fail to see why this is so complicated.

    Likewise, I find it… interesting that the same folks who scream bloody murder about parades and banners are so blaise about armed hoods in the streets.

    I guess it makes a difference to some when they’re *your* bastards in the streets with guns.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Dread,

    I’m sympathetic to your point of view but I think the police probably decided not to poke the sleeping dog. What if the protagonists decided to open fire if/when the police approached ?

    The complexity comes from the fact that the police don’t the political leadership which is required to root out paramilitaries of any kind. The police can’t instigate a major cleanup action against active paramilitaries without active political support for so doing. That can’t happen without the devolution of the requisite powers.

  • dunreavynomore

    dread, I saw your head sniper, hugie orde, on t.v. saying the whole thing was unimportant. i think you will need to meet him personally to explain your point of view, frangible shells, bullhorns and all.

  • The BBC local news said that there were 6 machine guns and a rocket launcher on display. Certainly two cops in a car aren’t going to challenge that. The news also said the guys responsible split within minutes up a road that took them very rapidly across the border. I suspect the roadblockers would have been nearly as shocked as the cops.

  • barnshee

    I am amazed that Sluggerites have not got the message

    1 There will be no confrontations where any meaningful show of force etc is involved

    2 As far a possible no cops will get hurt/killed

    3 Soft targets may be selectively picked off however great care will be taken to make sure that they really are soft and won`t provoke reaction.

    4 Problems will be “contained” in areas “we don`t live in this shithole”

    5 Areas will be branded by the worst behaviour of some of its residents

    6 Shitholes will become even bigger shitholes -paint a few more flagstones and fly a few more flags and the estates/towns/villages will become even worse.

    Repeats quote from cop ” I don`t give a fuck if they eat each other! I`m not getting hurt for anyone.”

    Welcome to the PSNI folks -not seen at difficult event nesr you shortly

  • Dread Cthuhu

    Comrade Stalin: “I’m sympathetic to your point of view but I think the police probably decided not to poke the sleeping dog. What if the protagonists decided to open fire if/when the police approached?”

    Then they’d be violation of the law and should shot down like rabid dogs.

    Sooner or later, the police and the politicians are going to have to grasp the nettle. So long as they play weak sister to the dogs in the street, green and orange, things are not going to change. The more they kow-tow and say “pretty please,” the more these jokers are going to think they actually make a difference in the process.

  • 0b101010

    Basically the PSNI, through inaction, is conceding a de facto right to bear arms. Anyone with a gun is above the law and can do what they want. South Armagh may as well declare itself reunified, if that’s what these boyos want, because the police will do fuck all about it if you wave a few guns about.

  • random_quotes

    Honestly Dread Cthuhu, I still think you are in computer game territory. We do not live in the USA.
    As Comrade Stalin put it, dont poke a sleeping dog. You would only increase support in these areas by being so heavy handed.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    RQ: “I still think you are in computer game territory. We do not live in the USA. ”

    Firstly, I don’t think you’re thinking. Secondly, the days of a UK copper saying “stop, or I’ll say stop again” are long gone.

    RQ: “As Comrade Stalin put it, dont poke a sleeping dog. You would only increase support in these areas by being so heavy handed. ”

    It’s not sleeping, it’s playing in the street with an AK-47. Every time the PSNI slink off like beaten dogs from these hoods, it simply emboldens them. Having gotten away with it, they’ll think its a precedent and that they can do it again with impunity.

    One of the greatest weaknesses of most of the parties in N.I. is, instead of Peace and Justice, most of the jokers are looking for a piece for just us. Hoods with guns, so long as they’re *your* hoods — fine and dandy. Jerks with fifes or the other fella bonfire — now *thats* a crisis.

  • riverlagan

    [i]As Comrade Stalin put it, dont poke a sleeping dog. You would only increase support in these areas by being so heavy handed.[/i]
    Posted by random_quotes on Aug 25, 2009 @ 09:43

    If the PSNI continue their, pragmatic thinking, thus leaving the dissidents, and consequently Nationalist/Republican housing estates isolated – the Real IRA etc. will garner more control of that community. Ever heard of Stockholm Syndrome!?

  • John East Belfast

    The main issue here is that the Police had opportunity to remove guns and violent people from the community and chose not to do so. Some day those very same guns and very same people will take somebody’s life.

    We will then have the PSNI wringing their hands talking about what they need is intelligence to catch these people.
    Well they could have caught them red handed.

    This episode is a total disgrace and the PSNI Officers involved have failed in their duty to protect the community.

  • cut the begs

    n i is as british as finchly imangine masked gunmen stopping cars there therd b ructions