A senior PSNI officer has admitted public confidence in policing has been hugely damaged by images of officers appearing to abandon a vulnerable woman on a busy road.
Shocking video footage posted online showed police leaving the incapacitated woman lying in a bus lane in Londonderry on St Patrick's Day – just feet from passing traffic – before driving away.
The woman in question has been named locally as 23-year-old Brigid Mongan (right), also known as Biddy, who is a member of the Travelling community.
There has been scathing criticism of the three officers involved, with their futures within the force now in doubt, pending a Police Ombudsman investigation.
PSNI Assistant Chief Constable George Hamilton said he was shocked when shown the film, admitting it seriously undermined public confidence.
"It was horrendous, a bad story for policing and for confidence in policing," said Mr Hamilton, widely tipped to be the next Chief Constable.
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said the behaviour of the police officers involved was "totally unacceptable".