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Man charged with assault after tussle with police in supermarket over face mask

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Officers confront a man in Tesco

Officers confront a man in Tesco

Calmer: A relatively quiet Portstewart strand this weekend

Calmer: A relatively quiet Portstewart strand this weekend

The previous weekend when images of it packed with visitors sparked fury

The previous weekend when images of it packed with visitors sparked fury

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Officers confront a man in Tesco

Police in Londonderry have charged a man with a number of offences after video footage emerged showing three officers attempting to restrain him in a Tesco store in the city.

It is understood the man was questioned by police as to why he was not wearing a face mask in the supermarket before the incident occurred on Saturday.

It came as the PSNI increased its enforcement of the Covid-19 safety regulations over the weekend.

The 39-year-old male was charged with two counts of assault on police, obstructing police, resisting police and disorderly behaviour.

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Within the 90-second video clip, two male police officers attempted to restrain the man in an aisle of the Tesco store.

The male, who was wearing a blue hoodie and navy tracksuit bottoms, complained of being “pushed all over the place” by the officers.

A female police officer then attempted to assist her colleagues, while the man said “let go of me and I will walk out with you”.

One male officer’s face mask did not cover his nose.

A brief tussle ensued, while a woman and child screamed in the background.

As the man made his way towards the exit of the store, the female officer told the person making the video that if they did not stop recording, the phone “would be seized as evidence” as it was an “offence”.

When asked by the Belfast Telegraph to comment on the footage, a PSNI spokesperson said that if anyone has a complaint regarding police actions they should contact the office of the Police Ombudsman.

“We will not be making any further comment as a live investigation is ongoing,” added the PSNI. The man is due to appear before Londonderry Magistrates Court on Wednesday and all charges will be reviewed by the Public Prosecution Service.

Meanwhile, DUP MLA Paul Frew said it was “absolute madness” that two women in England were given £200 fixed penalty notices after driving five miles to go on a walk.

The North Antrim MLA tweeted that the PSNI “do not have the powers to do the same here”.

The politician said it was “correct” in that there is no legally defined distance you can travel from your home for exercise.

The PSNI continued their enforcement of the Covid-19 regulations over the weekend with a number of patrols across Northern Ireland.

Police checkpoints were put in place in Belfast city centre, Greater Belfast, and beauty spots in the Causeway Coast and Glens district, while foot patrols were carried out in Portadown.

Officers from the Tactical Support Group also conducted patrols in the Downpatrick, Newcastle, Newry, Enniskillen, Larne, Carrick and Omagh areas to encourage the public to follow the health and safety regulations.

Day trippers had flocked to Portrush and Portstewart the previous weekend despite the Covid-19 regulations discouraging non-essential travel.

Photographs showed maskless visitors queued up outside takeaways as bumper to bumper traffic choked the famous strand along Portstewart.

However, Portstewart was much quieter this weekend after First Minister Arlene Foster said the Executive was forced to consider tougher lockdown measures as a consequence of the crowds that had assembled on the north coast.

Belfast Telegraph


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