PSNI officer knocked unconscious in pub while investigating underage drinking claims

A teenager has been arrested after two police officers were injured while investigating alleged underage drinking in Co Tyrone.

Saturday, 1st May 2021, 6:53 pm
PSNI appeal

One officer was knocked unconscious as he investigated allegations of breaches of coronavirus restrictions.

Police were called to licensed premises in Fintona at about 6.35pm on Friday.

Police said they found about 150 people present and saw breaches of Covid-19 regulations.

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A male officer was punched and knocked unconscious while a fellow officer who attempted to detain the suspect was punched.

The officer who was knocked unconscious was taken to hospital as a precaution.

A 17-year-old youth was arrested on suspicion of offences including assault on police and disorderly behaviour, and he remains in police custody.

Enforcement action was taken over the Covid-19 breaches and a £1,000 fine was issued.

Chief Inspector Johnston McDowell said: “It is completely unacceptable that two of our colleagues were carrying out their duties when they were assaulted in such a nasty way.

“Such despicable behaviour must never be tolerated.

“Police have been working with partners, including the local council environmental health team, to carry out checks at premises to ensure our community can socialise in a safe environment.

“Our officers have been, and will continue to, engage with licensees to ensure they are all adhering to their responsibilities as required under The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 and the Licensing (NI) Order 1996.

“We will continue to engage with licensees around potential breaches and, where appropriate, advice and guidance will be provided to ensure the continued safe delivery of services.

“Our approach continues to centre around the four Es – engage, explain, encourage and, if necessary, enforce.”