Belfast Telegraph

Police Federation: Dissident attack in Craigavon could lead to slower response times

Police and ATO at the scene of a suspicious object in the area of the Tullygally Road area of Craigavon. Credit: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Police and ATO at the scene of a suspicious object in the area of the Tullygally Road area of Craigavon. Credit: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

The attempted murder of PSNI officers in Craigavon by dissident republicans could lead to slower police response times, the Police Federation has warned.

At around midnight on Friday police received a report of a loud bang in the Tullygally Road area on the town.

They were later contacted by a Belfast-based newspaper reporting that it had received a call claiming a device had been fired at a police patrol, but had missed its target.

Police believe the initial "loud bang" may have been an attempt to "lure" officers into the area.

Investigators in Tullygally Road (Brian Lawless/PA)
Investigators in Tullygally Road (Brian Lawless/PA)

During a follow-up search operation, a viable explosive device was recovered.

Mark Lindsay, chair of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland, which represents rank and file officers, said the murder bid will now mean police will have to exercise "even greater levels of caution" when responding to calls.

"Officers operating in particular areas already exercise great caution. They are forced to risk assess and evaluate, and that, unfortunately, can lead to delays in responding to genuine calls from the public," he said.

Police Federation for Northern Ireland chairman Mark Lindsay. (PFNI/PA)
Police Federation for Northern Ireland chairman Mark Lindsay. (PFNI/PA)

“On the back of this cold-blooded act at midnight on Friday, officers will have to be even more cautious. No one expects officers to leave themselves vulnerable to terrorist attacks, and that must mean the very real prospect of slower response times.

“Our communities deserve a service free from the threat that is posed by terrorist murderers. When they call the police for help or intervention, they have a rightful expectation that officers will get to them as quickly as possible.

"Regrettably, and for very prudent and sensible reasons, that isn’t always possible. Tullygally makes that situation worse. Politicians and community leaders must realise the inevitable consequences of terrorists attempting to murder my colleagues in their areas.

"They need to work with the PSNI to rid their communities of these thugs and criminals, and for the sake of the vast number of decent people, they should up their game considerably.”

The attack has been widely condemned by politicians from across Northern Ireland.

Ulster Unionist justice spokesperson, Doug Beattie, slammed those responsible.

The scene of the security alert in Craigavon. Credit: Declan Roughan/Press Eye
The scene of the security alert in Craigavon. Credit: Declan Roughan/Press Eye

"It's simple. This is another attempt by republican terrorists to murder police officers going about their lawful duty. These terrorists care little about the people of Craigavon and, indeed, the people of Northern Ireland," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"These are contemptible, deranged and pathetic individuals who are seeking to drag us pack into the past."

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