Belfast Telegraph

Top cop Alan Todd dismisses PSNI 4x4 safety concerns at inquest

By Joanne Sweeney

Four PSNI officers who died when their vehicle crashed and caught fire "put themselves into harm's way to protect others", a senior officer told their inquest.

Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd also dismissed concerns over the safety of the armoured Mitsubishi Shogun the officers were in.

He said the vehicles were safe and fit for purpose for patrol purposes.

"If the police service had have any sense or any inkling that was not the case, we would have withdrawn the vehicles from service," he told the court.

He agreed that a force order stating Shoguns should not be used for emergencies was not well-worded, but insisted armoured vehicles were needed because of a high security alert at the time.

Constables Kevin Gorman (24), Declan Greene (39), Kenny Irvine (30) and James Magee (27) were responding to a call for emergency aid from colleagues in south Down when the tragedy happened in November 2008.

"No doubt when the call came in for help, these fine officers, Shogun or no Shogun, or bicycle, they would have wanted to help their colleagues," said Mr Todd.

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