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Complaints made to Ombudsman’s Office following Ballymurphy Arrest

24 December, 2007

Sinn Féin Councillor Marie Cush, who is a member of the DPP, has today said that she intends making a formal complaint to the Ombudsman about the PSNI arrest and detention for several hours yesterday of a Ballymurphy man.

Councillor Cush also said that both the man and his family will be making similar separate complaints to the Ombudsman.

Councillor Cush accused the PSNI of "offensive and abusive behaviour toward the family" and described the arrest and release a few hours later of the man as "an abuse of policing powers which smacked of political policing".

Councillor Cush said:

"The arrest and detention of a local man yesterday in Ballymurphy was reminiscent of the type of action witnessed by our community all too often over many years.

"The day before Christmas Eve this family were forced to endure several hours of a raid during which a belligerent PSNI demanded to search the nappy of a four month old child. At another point they tried to arrest the father and remove him from the house leaving the baby and two other small children alone in the house with PSNI officers.

"The manner of this raid and arrest, and the behaviour of the PSNI officers was totally unacceptable. I intend raising this matter at the earliest opportunity with senior police officers. The attitude of the PSNI is entirely at odds with all of the positive efforts from the beginning of this year to forge a new relationship between the community and the PSNI." ENDS

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