Northern Ireland news

More than 100 PSNI officers working on John Caldwell case

Detective Chief Inspector John Caldwell

MORE than 100 PSNI officers have been involved in the investigation into the New IRA attempt to kill John Caldwell last month.

Details emerged as a 34-year-old woman was arrested in Co Tyrone on Wednesday.

The woman was detained on suspicion of perverting the course of justice and assisting offenders after the search of a property in the Omagh area.

She was later released pending further enquiries following questioning at Omagh PSNI station.

She is the eleventh person to be arrested in connection with the investigation since the attack on February 22.

A 45-year-old man arrested in the Belfast area under the Terrorism Act on Tuesday was also released on Wednesday following questioning at the city's Musgrave PSNI station.

It has now emerged that more than 100 PSNI officers have been involved in the investigation.

A spokeswoman for the PSNI last night said a “significant number of detectives are working on the case and it will vary from day to day”.

The spokeswoman said that to date, 26 house and area searches have been carried out since the gun attack.

Mr Caldwell (48) remains in a critical but stable condition after being shot at the Youth Sport Omagh complex on the Killyclogher Road after he had coached a Beragh Swifts session.

Around 10 rounds were fired at the PSNI man by two gunmen as he packed footballs into his car after a youth soccer training session.

The shooting, which happened in front of school children, was widely condemned by politicians.

It has been reported that he was struck four times.

It is understood a revolver and 9mm handgun were used.

The New IRA has claimed responsibility for the attack after a message was posted on a wall in Derry.

Initially eight men, aged between 22 and 72, were arrested in Co Tyrone and Belfast and subsequently released.

A 25-year-old man arrested last week in Derry in connection with the claim of responsibility was also later released.

Mr Caldwell is one of the best-known detectives in the north, often fronting press conferences on major inquiries during his 26-year career. He has been the senior detective in many high-profile investigations, including the murder of his colleague Ronan Kerr by dissident republicans in 2011. He was also the initial lead detective investigating the killing of Natalie McNally in Lurgan.

Independent charity Crimestoppers had previously offered £20,000 but said anonymous donors had helped to increase that to £150,000.

Northern Ireland news