Police have described as “mindless”, youths who attacked PSNI vehicles attending the scene of a sudden death in Strabane last night.
Missiles were thrown at police cars arriving in the Ballycolman estate on Monday evening.
Writing on the PSNI Strabane Facebook page, police revealed that while the culprits were aware of the sensitive nature of the call, they continued to bombard officers.
Police said they had gone to the scene of the fatality in cars, rather than Land Rovers, to be less obtrusive.
A Strabane PSNI spokesperson said: “Due to the sensitivities and emotions involved with these matters there are a lot of factors for police to consider. We attended this call in police cars rather than the more protected and less aesthetically pleasing landrovers.
“Unfortunately as we attempted to deal with this sensitive matter a number of mindless young people decided to attack the police vehicles present. These young people were well aware of the issue being dealt with but refused to desist from their behaviour.
“Whilst we are trying to reduce the use of the land rover in dealing with calls,, and I appreciate they can be quite noisy when driving around estates,, it is behaviour like this that forces the police to use these heavy vehicles as they are less easily damaged.”
The incident has been strongly condemned by local elected representatives.
Strabane SDLP Councillor Patsy Kelly said the attack was disgraceful, particularly when police were attending a sudden death.
By this morning nearly 300 people had gone on to the PSNI Strabane Facebook page to register their support for the officers involved and express their disgust at the attack outside the home of an elderly man who is believed to have died unexpectedly.