Covid-19: Youth arrested after police officers injured in Co Tyrone pub

Officer knocked unconscious during inquiry of alleged breaches of coronavirus restrictions

The PSNI said ‘such despicable behaviour must never be tolerated’. File photograph: The Irish Times

The PSNI said ‘such despicable behaviour must never be tolerated’. File photograph: The Irish Times

 

A teenager has been arrested after two police officers were injured while investigating alleged underage drinking in Co Tyrone.

One officer was knocked unconscious as he investigated allegations of breaches of coronavirus restrictions.

Police were called to licensed premises in Fintona at about 6.35pm on Friday and said they found about 150 people present and saw breaches of Covid-19 regulations.

A male officer was punched and knocked unconscious while a fellow officer who attempted to detain the suspect was punched.

The officer who was knocked unconscious was taken to hospital as a precaution.

A 17-year-old youth was arrested on suspicion of offences including assault on police and disorderly behaviour, and he remains in police custody.

Enforcement action was taken over the Covid-19 breaches and a £1,000 fine was issued.

‘Completely unacceptable’

Chief Insp Johnston McDowell said: “It is completely unacceptable that two of our colleagues were carrying out their duties when they were assaulted in such a nasty way. Such despicable behaviour must never be tolerated . . . Our officers . . . will continue to engage with licensees to ensure they are all adhering to their responsibilities.”

Chief Insp McDowell said the PSNI would continue to engage with licensees around potential breaches. He added that, where appropriate, advice and guidance would be provided.

“Our approach continues to centre around the four Es – engage, explain, encourage and, if necessary, enforce.” – PA