Belfast Telegraph

Friday 24 October 2014

Derry gun attack on PSNI 'the work of maniacs'

Police Federation chairman Terry Spence
Police Federation chairman Terry Spence

The Police Federation has said that an attempt to murder officers in Londonderry was "an act of premeditated madness" carried out by "maniacs".

The PSNI believes dissident republicans were behind the gunshots fired at its vehicles in the Bogside area of the city.

One Land Rover had its reinforced windows smashed after it was hit by the gunfire in the early hours of Tuesday.

The armoured vehicle was being driven along Westland Street, close to the Bogside Inn, shortly before 1am when it was hit twice.

There were no injuries to officers in the vehicle but police have described the incident as totally reckless.

Police Federation chairman Terry Spence said officers were fortunate to escape unhurt in the gun attack.

He said: "The police vehicle was struck twice in the attack on Westland Road. The officers were protected by the bulletproof glass, which was shattered in the incident.

"The perpetrators were engaged in an act of premeditated madness and were out to cause maximum damage. It was futile, reckless and utterly pointless.

"They have zero to offer this community except heartache and pain, and they deserve to be shunned."

He added: "These maniacs have to be apprehended to prevent them from carrying out further attacks on the police.

"They belong to a bygone age and have no place in today's society.

"Currently, the threat level is ranked as 'severe' and I would appeal to our members to exercise increased vigilance as they go about their work protecting this entire community or when they are off-duty."

Superintendent Garry Eaton said it was fortunate there were no deaths or injuries to the officers, who were on routine patrol.

He said: "Members of the crew were kept safe by protective equipment on the vehicle, however if the shots had missed, then anyone walking or standing on the street could have been hit.

"Those who organised and carried out the attack were totally reckless and showed total disregard for the lives of people in that community."

The incident was also condemend by the UUP, SDLP and Sinn Fein.

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