Police Ombudsman probes video of officers’ actions

A still from the video posted online showing PSNI officers leaving the woman in a bus lane.
A still from the video posted online showing PSNI officers leaving the woman in a bus lane.

The Police Ombudsman is investigating a video that appears to show two PSNI officers moving an incapacitated woman in Londonderry from the road into a bus lane and leaving her there.

PSNI Chief Superintendent Stephen Cargin confirmed that a probe is underway into the video which appeared online and is said to have been taken on St Patrick’s Day on John Street in the city.

Click to watch the video.

The district commander for Londonderry told the BBC Nolan Show the officers involved will be identified “fairly quickly” and added that he appreciated the content of the video is “not good”.

“It’s not the sort of standard that I expect from my officers,” he said.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, who is from Londonderry, tweeted his reaction on Wednesday morning.

“Viewed video showing 2 police officers failing to ensure the safety of an incapacitated woman on a public roadway - totally unacceptable,” he wrote.

Former police officer Jim Gamble said he could not understand how the video could be justified.

“You can argue about why the person took the video - that isn’t relevant,” he said. “You are seeing police officers behaving in a way that is unacceptable.

“If you had a son or a daughter would you think it acceptable for the police to remove them from the edge of the road into the bus lane?”

A spokesperson for the Policing Board said the footage raises serious questions.

“Whilst the circumstances surrounding this incident are not yet clear, video footage of the police response raises questions of the most serious nature,” said the spokesperson.

“The Board and the public rightly expect the highest professional standards of all of our police officers and anything that falls short of that is simply unacceptable.

“The Board has been informed by the PSNI that the matter has been referred to the Police Ombudsman for independent investigation.”