Belfast Telegraph

PSNI sorry for raiding mayor's home

Police have apologised after raiding the home of a Sinn Fein lord mayor in Northern Ireland as part of a probe into republican activity.

Kevin Campbell's Londonderry address was targeted last month by officers investigating a splinter faction of the IRA known as Republican Action Against Drugs (RAAD). A laptop, camera and mobile phones were taken during the search.

Vigilante group RAAD has been blamed for intimidating a series of people from their homes in the north west of Northern Ireland and carrying out gun attacks against those it claimed were drug dealers.

Mr Campbell leads Derry City Council. Assistant Chief Constable Dave Jones and district commander, chief superintendent Stephen Martin, confirmed it was a mistake to search the mayor's home - which was wrongly identified during the police operation.

Assistant Chief Constable Jones said: "We made a mistake and we are deeply sorry for the distress caused to Cllr Campbell and his family which we recognise was personally traumatic and also embarrassing in his role as First Citizen.

"We fully accept the mayor was not involved in the matters we were investigating that evening. On behalf of the chief constable (Matt Baggott), I unequivocally apologise for what took place at the mayor's home on the 12th July.

"We are grateful for the grace and dignity with which the mayor and his wife received our apology."

He also apologised for the length of time it has taken the PSNI to issue today`s statement.

Mr Campbell lives in the nationalist Creggan estate in Derry and was elected mayor in June. He said at the time of the July 12 raid he would be filing a complaint with the Police Ombudsman.

"This decision by the PSNI to issue an unreserved and unconditional apology to myself and my wife and family for the indignity and trauma inflicted on us by this unwarranted raid on our home vindicates what I said at the time - the PSNI got it wrong and should publicly admit their mistake," he said.

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