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PSNI officer knocked unconscious responding to reports of underage drink and Covid breaches in Tyrone

A 17-year-old male was subsequently arrested.

File photo
File photo
Image: PA

TWO PSNI OFFICERS were injured while investigating reports of Covid regulation breaches and underage drinking at a licensed premises in County Tyrone on Friday evening.

Police were responding to a call made around 6.35 pm yesterday.

Upon entering, the officers found around 150 people on the premises in Fintona, Co Tyrone and breaches of the Northern Ireland Health Protection Regulations were observed. 

As police were dealing with the incident, a male officer was punched and knocked unconscious. He was taken to hospital as a precaution.

Another officer, who attempted to detain the suspect, was also punched.

 A 17-year-old male was subsequently arrested on suspicion of offences, including assault on police and disorderly behaviour, and he remains in custody assisting police with enquiries. 

Enforcement action was taken in respect of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021, with a prohibition notice and a £1000 fine issued, the PSNI confirmed.

When a prohibition notice is issued, the premises is closed until police are satisfied the relevant breaches have been appropriately addressed.

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Chief Inspector 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.” 

McDowell added, “Police have been working with partners, including the local Council Environmental Health team, to carry out checks at premises to ensure our community can socialise in a safe environment.

“Our officers have been, and will continue to, engage with licensees to ensure they are all adhering to their responsibilities as required under The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) Regulations  (Northern Ireland) 2021 and the Licensing (NI) Order 1996.

“We will continue to engage with licensees around potential breaches and, where appropriate, advice and guidance will be provided to ensure the continued safe delivery of services. Our approach continues to centre around the four Es – engage, explain, encourage and, if necessary, enforce.”

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