The Police Ombudsman have launched an investigation after a video captured three PSNI officers appearing to abandon an incapacitated woman in a bus lay-by.
Local politicans have called for their suspension pending the outcome of the investigation.
Earlier today a meeting was called by Sinn Féin at Strand Road Police Station and attended my various political parties, the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, the Chief Executive of the City Centre Initiative and local clergy.
Sinn Féin councillor Elisha McCallion said it was a “frank and honest discussion” and that police acknowledged that the incident would “dent the public confidence in police here locally.”
She continued, “Any normal, right-thinking person would have thought that what would have happened was the police would have taken her out of harm’s way, but what actually happens after is something which can only be described as disgusting.
“Thankfully what wasn’t shown in the video, but what we do know from the people who actually recorded the video, is that two young men came to her aid.”
SDLP Councillor John Boyle, who was also in the meeting, said, “Everyone in the room spoke with one voice and it’s clear that people expect a greater degree of due care from our police.”
They also stated that the ombudsman was aware of the woman involved in the video and who she is.
SDLP Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey said, “It is impossible not to be absolutely incensed by the conduct of the officers involved, and I have put in writing this morning my anger at this incident and have called on senior officers to suspend those involved immediately pending what must be a full, frank and speedy investigation.
“The people of this City deserve the very highest from all their public servants not least the emergency services. The conduct of the officers in the video fall far short of what I expect from the PSNI and the police must now act to restore a very angry public’s confidence in their professionalism on our streets.”
PSNI Assistant Chief Constable George Hamilton said “at a first view” the police were seriously concerned.
Mr Hamilton said the behaviour, was “well below the standards we expect from our officers in dealing with vulnerable people whether the vulnerability is due to alcohol or anything else.
“This is a bad day for confidence in policing,” said Mr Hamilton.
“It was horrendous. There was a build up to this incident from ten to 15 minutes previous.
“Our job is to keep people safe it didn’t look to me like we were doing that”
“Suspension will be a consideration but the police are awaiting ombudsman recommendations.”