Sinn Féin brands PSNI response to armed robbery “inadequate and disgraceful”
Brónagh Murphy – 14 October 2010
The PSNI’s response to an armed robbery at the home of a Newry woman has been severely criticised by Sinn Féin councillor and District Policing Partnership member, Brendan Curran who has accused the police of having nationalist “no-go areas” in Newry.
Following the police refusal to visit the victim at her home, it was revealed that she had to meet detectives in a city centre carpark to give details of her ordeal.
This situation, Curran said, is “totally unacceptable” and questioned “whether this is protocol for policing in Newry”.
Tied up and Threatened
The lady was alone in her Carnagat Park home on Thursday evening when two masked men forced their way in around 8.00pm. The pair tied her up and threatened her with a gun before escaping with a sum of money.
Councillor Brendan Curran has accused the police of treating the area as a “no-go area” by refusing to attend the scene following the report of the incident. He said the victim’s “terrible and traumatic” ordeal was compounded by the police response, describing it as “totally inadequate and disgraceful” and says the people of the area deserve “a full police service which meets their needs”.
“This lady went through a terrible and traumatic robbery in her own home. However, if this nightmare was not bad enough, the lack of response to this robbery from the PSNI was totally inadequate and disgraceful,” Mr Curran said.
“The apprehension of these criminals demanded an immediate and effective response, but instead the police refused to enter the area.
“We cannot tolerate police ‘no go’ areas in Newry. The people who live in the Carnagat and Derrybeg area are entitled to a full police service which meets their needs as are people in all other areas,” he added.
The victim’s husband confirmed that they met detectives in a city centre carpark to give their statement.
A spokeswoman for the PSNI dismissed suggestions of ‘no-go” areas saying officers “would assess the situation and then seek to take the right action to keep both the community and our officers safe”.
She said that even though officers are “working against the backdrop of an increased terrorist threat, we will not shy away from our responsibilities to the local community”.
A 54-year-old man arrested a short time after the incident was released on bail pending further inquiries.
Police have appealed for anyone with information on the robbery to contact them.
Incidents such as this along with accusations of “no go areas” for the police do not speak very well for the Stormont government’s administration of their long sought after policing and justice powers.