PSNI defend Waterside pipe bomb probe after criticism

Jeffrey Avenue.
Jeffrey Avenue.

Police have disputed claims they did not carry out a full and thorough investigation into a pipe bomb attack in the Waterside area last year.

The victim of the attack, a disabled woman who does not wish to be named, contacted the ‘Journal’ last week shortly after a major police investigation was launched into a similar attack which left a prison officer in a critical condition.

A viable pipe bomb was placed under the woman’s car in February last year.

The vehicle was parked outside her home in Jeffrey Avenue and when she reversed out of her driveway the woman noticed a ‘scratching’ sound coming from her car.

She then noticed debris on her driveway, which a passenger in the car told her looked like a pipe bomb.

Police and Army Technical Officers attended the scene to deal with the device.

The woman alleged that after this she never received any contact from police to update her about the investigation.

At the time, police held a Press Conference and said they were probing possible links between the attack in Jeffrey Avenue and loyalist groups.

However, the woman said she had never been told this by police.

The woman said she was ‘angry’ that the police response to the pipe bomb under her car was not the same as the investigation into the attack on the prison officer.

‘They have launched a major manhunt for those responsible. But because I am not in the public eye or a police officer or prison officer, they have done nothing for me.’

She added: ‘This is always at the back of my mind and I am scared in my own home. I could have been blown up and killed, yet I have had no information from police, no help.

‘Why should a prison officer get preferential treatment, is my life worth less?’

The PSNI disputed the woman’s claims.

A spokesperson said: ‘A full and thorough investigation was carried out in relation to this, as it would be with any other similar incident, and the victims were contacted several times so that an update could be given to them.

‘These types of devices are indiscriminate in who they can kill or injure, therefore anyone who knows anything about this incident is asked to contact detectives on the non-emergency number 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.’