PSNI told: 'heavy-handed' Strabane searches left disabled residents shaken

Mon, 10/08/2015 - 15:15 -- Editor

SDLP West Tyrone MLA and local representative Daniel McCrossan have met with senior PSNI officers following searches in the Ballycolman area which left disabled residents shaken. 

Speaking after the meeting, Mr McCrossan said: 

“We’ve had a constructive meeting with police and members of the family of the disabled residents who had their homes searched in a very heavy handed and invasive way last week. 

“During the meeting we made it very clear that we consider the approach of the police last week to have been heavy handed and unnecessary, especially given the complex needs of the home owners. The operation fell far below the standard expected and has undoubtedly damaged community confidence in the police locally. 

“I was pleased that the officers present expressed their appreciation of the stress that the home owners were placed under and that they committed to reviewing the operation. That is progress. 

“From here, we will be raising the matter directly with the Chief Constable and writing to the Police Ombudsman to ensure the matter is probed and learning taken on board. Community confidence is crucial to effective local policing. It’s important that this matter is dealt with quickly and thoroughly as we attempt to restore that fragile confidence.”