PSNI follow-up with apology to Council

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The PSNI has written to Derry City Council chief executive Sharon O’Connor to apologise for the raid on the home of the Mayor, Councillor Kevin Campbell.

The move follows a public apology given to the Mayor by the PSNI’s Assistant Chief Constable, Dave Jones, last week.

Derry City Council had criticised the house search, during which a Council-owned laptop was seized, and had called on the police to apologise.

Following the Council’s call, PSNI Assistant Chief Superintendent Stephen Cargin wrote to Ms O’Connor on July 19th defending the police’s actions.

“These searches were proportionate to the circumstances pertaining at the time and under the authority of a Magistrate’s Warrant,” the letter states.

However, last week the PSNI sent a further letter to Ms O’Connor retracting the previous correspondence.

The second letter, dated August 21, from ACC Jones states; “Further to the letter of July 19 2012, I would like to retract the content as it relates to the Mayor.”

The letter was written after a meeting between Councillor Campbell and senior PSNI commanders, including ACC Jones.

Not involved

His letter continues; “We fully accept that the Mayor was not involved in the matters that police were investigating that evening and are sorry for both the personal trauma to him and the embarrassment caused to Councillor Campbell in his role as First Citizen.

“We are grateful for the grace and dignity with which the Mayor and his wife have received our apology,” he said.

The letter also apologises for the length of time between the original incident and the apology.

“The Police Service fully understand that it is important that the police are properly held to account and for that reason the matter has been referred to the Police Ombudsman’s Office for independent investigation,” it states.

The Assistant Chief Constable also said he hopes the matter will not damage relations between the PSNI and the local community.

“May I reassure you that police will continue to work hard to ensure that local relationships endure and that this regrettable matter does not adversely affect valuable police and community relations across the City of Derry,” he wrote.