Belfast Telegraph

Derry mayor calls for officer's sacking over botched raid

By Donna Deeney

The Mayor of Derry says he will do what he can to help the PSNI repair the damage to its reputation among nationalists as a result of the police raid on his home.

But despite making the conciliatory gesture, Kevin Campbell also said he wanted the officer who gave the order to carry out the search sacked.

Senior police officers made a “full and frank” public apology to Derry’s first citizen after a search team entered his home last month and removed two laptops and a number of mobile phones.

The police said it now recognised that the decision to enter the mayor's Creggan home was a mistake and that it was “personally traumatic and also embarrassing in his role as first citizen”.

ACC Dave Jones and District Commander Stephen Martin made the apology on behalf of chief constable Matt Baggot.

“On behalf of the Chief Constable, I unequivocally apologise for what took place at the Mayor's home on July 12.

“We are grateful for the grace and dignity with which the Mayor and his wife received our apology,” it said.

“We also apologise for the length of time it has taken us to be in a position to issue this apology.

“We understand that it is important that police are properly held to account and for that reason we have decided to refer the matter to the Police Ombudsman's Office for independent investigation.”

Mayor Campbell said he is content to wait on the outcome of the Ombudsman’s investigation, but insisted the force should dismiss the person who gave the order to search his home.

“The police recognise wrong has been done and have passed it on to the Ombudsman to investigate and say who made the decision — they obviously know who made the decision — but why and how that decision was made,” he said.

“I am certainly hoping and in fact, demanding that disciplinary action is taken, that is part and parcel of policing.

“We are looking to produce transparent policing and an accountable police force.”

He added: “The raid on my home caused major problems with my own area and within the city without a doubt, but on Monday the police stepped up to the mark and recognised they did wrong and that the decision damaged their reputation.”

Belfast Telegraph

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