Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland Saturday night A&E like 'Eastenders meets Jeremy Kyle,' say police

Police cars outside Craigavon Area Hospital on Saturday night.
Police cars outside Craigavon Area Hospital on Saturday night.

Police described accident and emergency (A&E) departments at two Northern Ireland hospitals as like "an Eastenders Christmas Special meets Jeremy Kyle" on Saturday night.

Extra police were required at Craigavon Area Hospital and Antrim Area Hospital to support medical staff.

Nineteen police officers were required to deal with individuals who’d been arrested for drink driving, domestic abuse, assaults and road traffic collisions due to drink or drugs.

A PSNI spokesperson said that their Saturday night policing operation was "one of great frustration, and yet again a major strain on our resources".

"That’s nineteen officers many miles away from district, nineteen officers removed from Policing your area, nineteen officers unable to respond to calls and carrying out anti burglary patrols," the spokesperson said.

"The A&E department itself was like an Eastenders Christmas Special meets Jeremy Kyle, with additional local police required to deal with that side of things."

The spokesperson said that such operations were putting a strain on police resources.

"It’s part of a wider debate about police resources and police being a general catch all service expected to plug endless gaps," the spokesperson said.

"As is so often the case most of these boil down to individuals and personal responsibility - or rather a severe lack of it, with the expectation that police will just pick up the pieces.

"The mindset needs to change, it is not sustainable."

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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