“There was contact with senior PSNI personnel explaining whose home it was…”

More difficulties with “due process” for Sinn Féin.  This time it’s in Londonderry, where the mayor of the city, Sinn Féin councillor Kevin Campbell, has had his home searched by police and laptops and mobile phones taken away.  The BBC report quotes SF MLA Raymond McCartney.

Sinn Fein have described the raid as “inexplicable” and said the party will be demanding answers.

“There was contact with senior PSNI personnel explaining whose home it was,” said Raymond McCartney.

“They were in his home for an hour and a half. In our opinion, they should not have been in his home.”

Mr McCartney said the operation would cause “serious harm” to people’s perception of policing in Creggan.

“In fairness, I would say that some of the PSNI personnel on the ground were accepting that this was a mistake.

“Despite our efforts to try and point this out, the officers in charge ignored whose home this was and instructed the people to search the house,” he said.

Other overnight raids in the city, which it has not been confirmed are connected to this one, are reported to be part of a major police operation into the republican vigilante group, RAAD.  The BBC reports that three men have been arrested and five assault rifles and three handguns have been seized .

It’s not the first time in recent years that Sinn Féin have attempted to interfere in an ongoing police investigation.

And, as Liam Clarke pointed out at that time

In a modern democracy, politicians are expected to allow the police the operational independence to follow up whatever leads come up – even if many of them turn out to be false.

The alternative would be for detectives to ring up senior politicians and to ask which suspects could be vouched for and which it would be wise to pull in for questioning.

That is just the sort of old boys’ network that republicans claimed operated between senior unionists and the RUC under the old Stormont.

Adds  The updated BBC report no longer has the quotes above from Raymond McCartney, but does quote Cllr Kevin Campbell who says he will be filing a complaint with the Police Ombudsman.  From the updated BBC report

“Their intelligence believed that someone else was in the house along with me,” [Cllr Campbell] said.

“I told them categorically there is nobody in here. I’m the mayor of this city and my integrity is at stake.

“They obviously weren’t accepting that. They arrived at half past ten and kept the house surrounded. At ten past four someone made the decision to raid the house.

And, in the meantime, “There was contact with senior PSNI personnel explaining whose home it was”.

Update  In the UTV report Cllr Campbell confirms that the police had “a search warrant under the prevention of terrorism act 2000”.

Police confirmed they had carried out searches at houses in Derry as part of an investigation into an ongoing investigation into paramilitary style assaults and shootings.

“The policing operation was fast moving and fluid and required police to actively pursue suspects believed to be involved.

“Senior police commanders have met with Sinn Fein representatives in the city this afternoon to discuss police actions.”

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  • From a local paper, the Derry Journal: Mayor demands apology after house raid:

    “I want answers,” [Cllr Campbell] said. “Someone made a decision to raid my home and I want to know who made that decision and on what grounds. ..”

    McCartney: “What happened in Kevin Campbell’s home was wrong. It was an example of bad leadership and bad communication and in essence bad policing.”

    As yet, there is no statement on the PSNI website.

  • 6crealist

    Sinn Féin don’t like it up ’em.

  • andnowwhat

    How is asking why the mayor’s home raided interfering in an investigation? As pointed out elsewhere, I wonder how the reaction would have went had this been Gregory Campbell’s house raided?

  • Alias

    Are the Shinners claiming that political office should come with a certificate of criminal immunity?

  • 6crealist

    Someone’s clearly stirring here. It has echoes of the Stormont “spy ring” raid back in 2002, although this is obviously on a much smaller scale.

    Alias
    immunity isn’t limited to those who hold office: it’s open to all who resist the temptation to dissent from the “Process”.

  • gendjinn

    … it’s not like there has ever been a time when the RUC/PSNI ever baselessly acted in a manner detrimental to Republicans or Nationalists. Nope nothing like that has *ever* happened.

    *rolls eyes*

    Politicians, as the people’s representatives, are *supposed* to criticise the police when they get it wrong, whether or not Pete Baker agrees with the politicians in question.

    Pete, if the best you have to twist into a smear is “Do you have the right house? Do you know that this is the Mayor’s house?” question of the PSNI is some gross violation of due process then you really need to think about giving up blogging this theme until something with meat comes along.

  • gendjinn

    Interesting how Pete applauds a politician overruling the judiciary to keep someone in jail but considers a politician asking police questions are gross violation of due process.

    The only strain of consistency in Pete Baker’s posts are Republicans and Nationalists are in the wrong, no matter what positions he held the previous day.

  • Dixie Elliott

    A bit of a slap in the face for Mayor Campbell who stated that the police were only doing their jobs when this happened to others.

    As for Raymond McCartney, sure he’s the man who told grassroot shinners during a ‘debate’ in Derry, pushing support for policing, that they would be able to sack police officers who stepped out of line….Fire away Raymond.

    And what was that they said about ‘putting manners in them’?

    When they talk of a reformed police service, it seems they haven’t yet realised that it’s the old RUC which is being re-formed….

  • Pete Baker

    Adds The updated BBC report no longer has the quotes above from Raymond McCartney, but does quote Cllr Kevin Campbell who says he will be filing a complaint with the Police Ombudsman. From the updated BBC report

    “Their intelligence believed that someone else was in the house along with me,” [Cllr Campbell] said.

    “I told them categorically there is nobody in here. I’m the mayor of this city and my integrity is at stake.

    “They obviously weren’t accepting that. They arrived at half past ten and kept the house surrounded. At ten past four someone made the decision to raid the house.

    And, in the meantime, “There was contact with senior PSNI personnel explaining whose home it was”.

  • andnowwhat

    BBC reporting that the PSNI declined an interview. On a wider context, this is the latest in a line of searches of innocent people’s homes and all are based on poor or/and out of date intelligence.

    At this point, questions need to be asked of the cops and Matt Baggot in particular.

  • Pete Baker

    Update In the UTV report Cllr Campbell confirms that the police had “a search warrant under the prevention of terrorism act 2000”.

    Police confirmed they had carried out searches at houses in Derry as part of an investigation into an ongoing investigation into paramilitary style assaults and shootings.

    “The policing operation was fast moving and fluid and required police to actively pursue suspects believed to be involved.

    “Senior police commanders have met with Sinn Fein representatives in the city this afternoon to discuss police actions.”

  • Donal Davoren

    It would seem that someone within the PSNI is letting us know, (what most know already ) and that is, despite the odd bit of condemnation from certain quarters, that behind closed doors they are sharing the one bed. Maybe the PSNI were searching under that bed for clues?

  • Donal Davoren

    I should have wrote, despite the odd bit of condemation of RAAD from certain quarters.

  • The Lodger

    Surely the big question mark here should be on whether the police believe there are connections between SF and RAAD?

  • HeinzGuderian

    Shocking to think a shinner could be involved in anything illegal !! ( it’s not as if they have a track record or anyrhing)

  • sdelaneys

    When the PSNI are raiding non SF houses we are expected to ‘let them do their job’ and where accusations were made that the IRA murdered Paul Quinn, Connor Murphy told BBC 2 Newsnight that it was not necessarily for the police to say if the Ira were involved because ‘the community will want a say in that’ so it totally depends on what party the person being arrested, searched or raided belongs to or supports whether the police should be left to their job.
    Must be nice to be above the law and clearly SF people are now above the law and mayors too.

  • Drumlins Rock

    I’m waiting for the statement from SF welcoming the arms find and removal of dangerous weapons from society.

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

    SF always quick to jump on the cops eh?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4224955.stm

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    The PSNI have opened a second front, they have take items away for investigation. They relate to serious crimes.

    Well I never. I can’t believe that there would ever be serious crimes coming from the peaceful and respectful republican community in Ardoyne.

    In view of this I won’t go down to the shooting (maybe 10 times I should not have used that term) down to the chippy at the shops on the Crumlin road, to get my fish supper just in case they blame me on it.

    Wondered why the helicopter was out all afternoon

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-18843836

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

    Republican arrested for attempted murder:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-18843840

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    A republican arrested for attempted murder

    Ten shots were fired from the nationalists/republicans from Brompton Park in the nationalist/republican part of Ardoyne at around 12.30am on Friday.

    http://www.u.tv/News/Man-arrested-over-PSNI-murder-bid/1f46c043-fcde-4988-93cb-58102e981834

  • ArdoyneUnionist

    Never a truer statement from the PSNI.

    “Chief Constable Matt Baggott said the violence, which broke out after an Orange Order parade past the Ardoyne shops on Thursday, was used as a cover for the attempted murder of police officers”.

    There we have it form the Chief Constable, republican faux rage at the peaceful Orange Order parade. Where republicans kept ramping up the tension. Was a trap to try and murder police officers.

    http://www.u.tv/News/Man-arrested-over-PSNI-murder-bid/1f46c043-fcde-4988-93cb-58102e981834

  • My old flat in Belfast was raided when I was on holiday. Their information on drugs had got the wrong flat (or possibly the wrong house number).

    So don’t assume the PSNI always get it right.

  • streetlegal

    Links continue between RAAD activists (formerly Provisional IRA) and the Provisional Sinn Fein leadership in Derry. The police search was not a mistake – and probably arose from British intelligence reports which have pointed up these links.

  • “A prominent Irish republican dissident has been shot in both legs as rival factions vie for control in Derry.

    Republican sources confirmed to the Guardian that Jimmy Deery, a leading member of the Real IRA-aligned 32 County Sovereignty Committee, was injured in the shooting on Sunday night.”

  • The Lodger

    Nevin,

    A shotgun was taken to his legs which would have to be nasty and potentially life changing. Was it RAAD or an internal dissident feud though?

  • The Lodger, perhaps more of a reflection of the Mafia-style culture that still persists here.

  • The Lodger

    Nevin,

    Indeed, but that culture exists largely through organisations like RAAD, RIRA, CIRA etc. The important question is which of the alphabet soups did this and why? It is important to know because this could reflect the beginning of an internal republican feud.

  • The Lodger, it might be a mistake to limit the culture to the organisations you’ve named. The organised crime reports produced by the cross-party NIA committee at Westminster would indicate that the culture is more widespread.

  • gendjinn

    Well, well, well Pete. Looks like you were wrong again. The PSNI admitted they raided the wrong house and have apologised.

    “ACC Jones and District Commander, Chief Superintendent Martin, confirmed it was a mistake to search the Mayor’s home which was wrongly identified during the police operation.”

    I’m sure you’ll blog this police error and apology with as much volume and detail as you covered the original announcement of the raid.

  • Mark

    The PSNI admitted that they raided the wrong home and have apologised …….. I suppose it could have been worse . Didnt the SAS raided the wrong house in the 80’s are were greeted with a M60 machine gun . SAS Capt Westmacott didnt survive .

    Juxt finished Mark Urban’s latest on SAS / Delta force in Iraq . He pull no punches re rendition / secret torture camps etc . It’s all there .