“The safety of officers and the public is a priority for the PSNI…”

According to reports, when a family who were being threatened by an armed masked gang in their home in the Slievemore Park area of Londonderry contacted the police on 999, they were told that “officers were unable to attend the scene”.  The incident happened at around 11:30pm last night. [Adds The family have said the police did not visit them until 1100 BST on Thursday.]

From the BBC report

District Commander Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin said police had to establish if the call was genuine.

“Due to concerns that this call may have been an attempt to lure police officers into the area to attack them, officers were unable to respond as fully or as quickly as they would have wished,” he said.

“The safety of officers and the public is a priority for the PSNI and there are unfortunately some situations which may have to be dealt with cautiously due to the significant threat from terrorists.”

, ,

  • al

    Oh so they are now terrorists now? There was me thinking they are just ‘criminal gangs’.

  • Neil

    Police are only concerned with the safety of police, they don’t take risks with their own safety. We sometimes mistakenly assume that police want to impact on crime, or help the areas they’re in, but that’s bullshit. They want to clear 35k a year with overtime, and over and above that they don’t give a damn.

  • Anonin

    10$ Says they’re just doing this in the false notion that if they hold back policing services long enough and scare people enough, they think it’ll ratchet up pressure on the paramilitaries.

    What an idiotic strategy if this is what they’re playing at.

  • Neil

    Nah, they’re doing the same thing they were doing when a man was beaten to death up against the wall of a police station a few weeks back. Drinking tea and staying out of harm’s way. That’s what they do.

  • TheHorse

    Doing what they do best for the working class – nothing. If this had been a judges house or an MLAs house do you think there would have been a different approach.

  • joeCanuck

    The police do have a duty to protect themselves but 12 hours to respond to an emergency call is just not acceptable.
    Perhaps the Chief Superintendent could tell us what they were doing during the 12 hours. Searching sewers or culverts? Viewing the neighbouring houses with night vision goggles for ambushers?Putting up a helicopter with night vision equipment to see if any ambushers lying in wait in gardens or entry ways? Don’t say they were having tea as some would have us believe.

  • Rory Carr

    The Horse has hit the nail most firmly on the head, it is all a matter of which class is under threat. Which is why those engaged in legitimate industrial action are frequently subject to criminal assault by police . Who can forget the scenes of police brutality against striking miners? And I recall the viciousness of police during a national building workers’ strike and the Grunwick factory women’s strike and their blatant one-sided collaboration with employers’ hired goons.

    Policing in general throughout the UK is based on a ghettoisation of working class areas where any ‘police service’ is denied but occasional mass ‘police force’ intervention is applied in order to intimidate. The response to those innocents and victims trapped therein is “Tough. It’s your own fault for not not being wealthy.” There is no reason to suppose why Northern Ireland would receive any better policing.

    In any case it won’t be long before we all are able to experience the US system where the wealthy hire their own private police forces to patrol their resedential areas while the state police look after their commercial property in conjunction with hired private security.

    The less well off? Well, what do you think ? They can go fuck ’emselves as usual.

  • joeCanuck

    What about general police work in London, Rory? Would there be a difference in how they would react or in the time to react between working class versus upper middle class areas?

  • bob

    whatever the strategy !! it aint working the culprits came back 15 mins after and began looking for someone to shoot and it wasnt the psni….. somebody appears to have been very lucky!!! on this occassion. so much for the psni and the protection of life.

  • Rory Carr

    Yes, Joe there would imdeed be a difference. I must add however that in any area we would expect (and generally receive) a swift response to any report of armed men acting suspiciously – the Met certainly are not amiss to getting a bit of target practice in every now and then.

    There have then been a number of cases in recent years where although the police responded then kept their distance in order to keep themselves out of harm’s way while the victims remained in acute danger.

    In one notorious case (although I don’t believe it was the Met but rather another county force) the victim was denied medical aid and the ambulance crew kept at bay for hours while a neighbour inside the beseiged house screamed over and over on the ‘phone that the gunman had shot himself and his victim was in urgent need of aid. When the police and medical aid finally entered the gunman had been dead for hours, the victim, who might have survived, had bled to death. You can imagine the state of the courageous neighbour and what it did for his confidence and respect for policing.

  • andnowwhat

    I heard the interview on Evening Extra yesterday evening with the father of the family.
    He said that after the ordeal he drove down to the police station as requested by the police. He was talking to them on his habns free set as he drove there. He said that when he got in the police were shouting at him to settle down.

    Now, I know NI people are given to exaggeration but I’ll just say what the victim said. He was held by the throat by one officer who allegadly pointed a gun at him.

    Not exactly Dixon of Dock Green even if their initial response was

  • Dec

    “Due to concerns that this call may have been an attempt to lure police officers into the area to attack them”

    Personally, If I was trying to lure police officers into an area so that an armed masked gang could attack them, I would probably phone 999 reporting an incident that didn’t involve ‘an armed masked gang’. But, that’s just me.

  • DC

    The definition of a police service is different to that of a police force the consequences regionally are now being seen.

    Just like train services are delayed and at times withdrawn so too the police service. I guess they have human rights as much as others.