PSNI officers filmed leaving woman lying on street in Derry
Police Ombudsman inquiry into footage of incapacitated woman in Derry bus lane
Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire (right) has appointed two senior officers to investigate the incident
The Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland
has launched an investigation into a filmed incident in Derry which shows police officers lifting an incapacitated woman from a city centre street and laying her down in a bus lane before driving off.
The footage, which was recorded on a mobile phone from an apartment overlooking the scene of the incident in John Street, shows two police officers getting out of a police car, lifting the woman from the middle of the street, placing her back down on the road several feet from a footpath and then driving off.
Seconds later, a bus pulled up alongside the bus lane. Members of the public were also filmed walking past the woman as she lay in the bus lane.
It is understood that Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire has appointed two senior officers to investigate the incident.
The PSNI’s Assistant Chief Constable George Hamilton has said that the behaviour of the two officers involved “is at first view well below the standards we expect from our officers in dealing with vulnerable people, whether the vulnerability is due to drink or to anything else”.
The most senior police officer in Derry, Chief Supt Stephen Cargin, who met Sinn Féin politicians yesterday to discuss the controversy, said he expected his officers to do their utmost to serve the community.
“On occasions when officers are investigated because of a breach of standards, a number of things can be done. They could be suspended or repositioned depending on the investigation,” he said.
Internal and external CCTV footage of the incident recorded by cameras at a commercial premises on John Street shows events leading up to the incident on the road.
The footage from the Drinx off-licence shows the woman having a row with her partner, and she is seen to fall and hit her head off the ground.
“They had a row in front of me,” said the off-licence manager Karl Hargan.
“I intervened and together with a colleague we carried her back into the premises to see if she needed medical attention. Two members of staff of the Foyle Haven next door came to help us.
“The woman had come round by this stage and together with her partner she walked out of the premises.
“At that stage I went back into the off-licence. I didn’t see what happened next, but the police were wrong to leave her in the bus stop, they should have, at the very least, left her on the footpath.”