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I'm astonished this is all you have to say: PSNI chief Hamilton scolds peer over 'Derry' remark after major paramilitary operation

Chief Constable George Hamilton and Lord Kilclooney clashed on Twitter.
Chief Constable George Hamilton and Lord Kilclooney clashed on Twitter.
Jonathan Bell

By Jonathan Bell

The PSNI chief constable has hit back at a Northern Ireland peer who criticised a senior police officer for using the term "Derry" in a press conference.

Friday saw hundreds of police officers swoop on 12 properties across Belfast, Lisburn, Crumlin and Newtownabbey.

Five were arrested with police saying more were to come. They said the operation - the biggest undertaken by the paramilitary crime task force - was aimed at disrupting the Belfast INLA and demonstrated their commitment to eradicating all paramilitaries across Northern Ireland.

During a press conference Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin said the raids were linked to an operation in "Derry-Londonderry" earlier this year.

"The official name of the city is Londonderry," Lord Kilclooney responded on Twitter.

"The airport is Derry; and the Council is Derry Strabane.

"One would assume they would get it correct."

Police chief constable George Hamilton said he was "amazed" at the response saying he had hoped for more support on the work of the police.

"In the face of the great work today I’m astonished John that this is all you have to say," he tweeted.

"I had hope [sic] for support to promote culture of lawfulness from people like you in public life but we’ll just get on with #KeepingPeopleSafe regardless."

Asked for their policy on the "Derry/Londonderry" phrase, a police spokeswoman said: "The PSNI respects the fact that the communities we serve have more than one identity and will seek to be inclusive in the language we use. Communities can be assured that we are committed to keeping them safe."

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