Stones thrown at police during cross-border joyriding operation


Police in Derry said they came under attack as they attended the scene of a cross-border joyriding incident last night.

Police said a group of people threw stones at officers when they arrived in Galliagh on Monday night to deal with the incident.

The workman’s white transit van was stolen from outside a house in Carndonagh in north Inishowen, County Donegal on Monday evening and driven to Derry.

The owner, who was working at a house in Carndonagh at the time, only discovered the van was missing when he went to get tools from it.

Residents in Galliagh later reported that it being driven dangerously through the area, and local people helped to prevent the van being set alight by the culprits, who ran off from the scene.

Residents also secured the workman’s tools so they could be returned to him.

PSNI Chief Inspector Paul McCracken said that police had been informed about the theft across the border.

“It was reported to police shortly before 6pm last night that the vehicle – a White Ford Transit van - had been stolen sometime around 5pm that evening,” he said.

“At approximately 7:30pm, police received a report that a vehicle matching the description was observed driving erratically on Heather Road in the Galliagh area.

“Approximately 10 minutes later, police received a report that the vehicle had collided with a roundabout on Heather Road.

“Police attended the scene during which time they were targeted by a group of people who had gathered in the area throwing stones. It is clear that the people who attacked police have no regard for our officers who were there to keep the community safe.”

Speaking about those who took the vehicle, he added: “The people who made the decision to get behind the wheel of this stolen van last night have made it clear they have no regard for the local community.

“They do not care that their actions risk death and injury by driving in such a dangerous manner, so it is critically important that parents and guardians speak with family members about how dangerous it is to be involved in or anywhere near this kind of activity.

“I would appeal to the public to call us if they have any information about these incidents on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 1239 of 19/02/18. Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.

“I would also appeal to the public that the second they see or hear vehicles being driven in a dangerous manner to call us on 999 in an emergency, or on 101. We all need to work together to keep people safe.”