Bus lane cops ‘repositioned’

Still from the Facebook video
Still from the Facebook video

The PSNI officers videoed lifting an incapacitated woman into a bus layby on Derry’s John Street have been “repositioned.”

The two officers have been “repositioned to duties that will not bring them into direct contact with the public,” the PSNI said.

Councillor Elisha McCallion and Councillor John Boyle pictured at a press conference at Strand Road Police Station. DER1614SL005

Councillor Elisha McCallion and Councillor John Boyle pictured at a press conference at Strand Road Police Station. DER1614SL005

PSNI Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Alistair Finlay said the repositioning was without any prejudice to the officers or the continuing investigation by Police Ombudsman.

The officers’ repositioning will be reconsidered when the Ombudsman’s investigation comes to an end.

On Thursday the woman involved, Bridget Mongan called for the officers to be sacked.

She told the BBC: “My boyfriend was arrested and I got a bit upset.

“I could have been killed stone dead. What they did to me is totally unacceptable.

“I was drunk, yes, but they could’ve at least left me on the footpath. It’s out of order, it’s as simple as that.

“They should lose their job now. If they did this to me, they could do it to everyone.

“I am an alcoholic and I’m not proud of it but they what they did on Monday was unacceptable.”

The video which was published on a local man’s facebook site shows police officers take Ms Mongan, who appears to be unconscious, from the main road, and leave her on a bus lane.

Local politicans had called for their suspension pending the outcome of the investigation.

A meeting was called by Sinn Féin at Strand Road Police Station on Wednesday 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. We expect immediate action.”

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, “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,

“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.”