Northern Ireland news

Human Rights groups asked to investigate police tactics in Derry during search op

Independent councillor Sean Carr proposed that human rights groups be asked to investigate the PSNI's conduct during a search and arrest operation in Creggan
Seamus McKinney

LEADING human rights groups have been asked to investigate the PSNI's day-long search of a house in Derry's Creggan.

Derry and Strabane council has asked the Northern Ireland Human Rights' Commission and the Committee on the Administration of Justice to investigate what were claimed to be “inappropriate tactics” against women and children.

The search and arrest operation last week was part of an investigation into New IRA bomb-making operations.

One man was arrested and charged in connection with the investigation while two others were arrested and charged with public order offences following clashes between police and youths.

Police handling of the operation was criticised by political and community leaders in the city as being “heavy-handed”.

There was particular criticism of an incident in which a woman was held on the ground by three officers. One officer knelt on top of the 44-year-old woman while another handcuffed her during the incident.

Council members backed a call for a human rights investigation which was proposed by independent councillor for the Creggan area, Sean Carr.

The proposal was supported by the SDLP, Sinn Féin, People before Profit and independent members while DUP councillors voted against the move and the Ulster Unionist Party abstained.

The council also supported a proposal by Aontú councillor Emmet Doyle inviting Derry's PSNI district command to address the council on police handling of the operation. Mr Doyle's proposal called for an end to what he termed as “aggressive and militaristic” tactics.

Police denied claims that they adopted heavy-handed tactics. Derry district commander, Darrin Jones said young people in the area were “used” to confront police during the operation.

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Northern Ireland news