A Shantallow woman, who is registered as deaf, says a ‘heavy-handed’ PSNI raid on her Moyola Drive home on Tuesday has left her ‘traumatised’.
Ms. Rose McNally lives in the house with her 19-year-old daughter and family friend, Myles O’Loughlin, who has Parkinson’s.
Ms. McNally was asleep at the time of the raid on her home and she claims after hearing a “loud bang downstairs” Mr. O’Loughlin thought someone was trying to break into the house and called the police.
“Because he has Parkinson’s, Myles’ movement is limited so when he heard a loud bang downstairs he wasn’t able to get up and look outside.
“Myles rang the police as he thought the house was being burgled. By the time I went downstairs I discovered that the police, who were breaking down our door, had heard that we had called the PSNI - they just started laughing at us,” said Ms. McNally.
Commenting yesterday morning, Ms. McNally described the incident as “terrifying.”
“As I am deaf I didn’t hear the initial banging on the door but had the police taken the time to realise that a deaf woman and a man with Parkinson’s lived in the house, this all could have been avoided.
“I feel completely traumatised by the whole ordeal - it was absolutely terrifying.”
Independent Derry City and Strabane District Council Councillor for the area, Warren Robinson, described the PSNI’s actions as “disgraceful.”.
He said: “I think it is disgraceful that the PSNI are acting in such a way towards totally innocent members of our community who should be left alone to get on with their lives without this type of heavy-handed incident being visited upon them.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to wish the family well and to offer any support I can,” he added.
The ‘Journal’ made contact with the PSNI and a spokesperson advised anyone with concerns over the actions of police officers to contact the Police Ombudsman’s Office.
“Police attended a house in the Shantallow area to execute a search warrant as part of a wider investigation,” the spokesperson said.
“During these operations, we try to gain entry to homes by consent.
However, on occasions, we need to force an entry.
“We now understand the particular circumstances of this household and if the family feel aggrieved about the actions of the police officers, they should contact the Police Ombudsman’s Office which will open an investigation into the incident.”