“Terrorists can’t take us back” - police chief

PSNI Superintendant Gordon McCalmont.
PSNI Superintendant Gordon McCalmont.

The PSNI believe a series of security alerts in Derry were designed to ‘frustrate’ the investigation into Saturday’s car bombing.

Superintendent Gordon McCalmont said that despite a ‘challenging’ couple of days police had adequate resources to cope with the public safety operations and core policing duties.

He said that as well as the security alerts, police received 200 calls and dealt with reports of domestic violence, burglaries and other crime and said the PSNI were ‘not found wanting’.

At a press conference, the officer spoke of his ‘frustration and anger’ about the ‘level of harm, fear and disruption caused to this proud community’.

“Workers’ rights, human rights and democracy, all things that this community is built on, has been massively eroded over this past couple of days.”

He said that the PSNI’s focus ‘is on keeping people safe and I want to reassure the community we are heavily invested in delivering a community policing operation that minimises the risk of such incidents not only now, but into the future.’

Superintendent McCalmont used the press conference to issue and appeal for witnesses to any of the incidents.

“Anyone that feels they can assist us with our investigation if they could contact us on 101 or the confidential line 0800555111. We are asking them to consider dash cam footage, CCTV or what they may have seen themselves.”

The officer confirmed that the main line of enquiry for their investigation is that the incidents were carried out by the New IRA, adding that they do not believe it is ‘Brexit related’.

He said the support his officers received from the community has been ‘absolutely fantastic’.

Superintendent McCalmont added: “Every day I work with people in this community trying to take it to a different place. What I would say to the terrorists is they can’t take us back.”

He said there were no ‘no go areas’ in the city and ‘Derry is open for business’.