Bradley demands meeting with PSNI over bomb hoax delays
SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley has said he will be meeting with senior PSNI officers to address the concerns of residents who were left to marshal traffic themselves when a suspect device was loaded onto a hijacked taxi. Newry Times reported over the weekend how frightened residents had to divert traffic away from a hijacked taxi – with a suspicious device on board – outside their Martin’s Lane homes.
Bradley said, “First of all, we need to put the blame for this incident firmly on those responsible for hijacking the taxi and loading a hoax device onto it. This is a course of action totally at odds with the desire of people in Newry and the surrounding district to move forward peacefully. Having said that, I believe that it is totally unacceptable that residents had to wait about an hour and a half for police to arrive and take charge of the scene.”
Reminiscing about the viable van bomb – believed to have been more than 300lbs – left last year along the road in Newry, Bradley continued,“We had a situation only a year ago where a van with a bomb on board was abandoned and members of the public on the road where it was left drove past it for hours before the police arrived. I raised the matter with the police at the time and I would have expected that by now they would have developed an operational plan for dealing with such incidents with much greater promptness. Clearly that has not happened as this latest incident illustrates.”
He added, “I have already raised the matter with the police and will be meeting with senior officers to relay to them the concerns of residents and urge them to develop systems which will mean such incidents are dealt with with a much greater speed of response. I would, however, once again, commend the courage and initiative of those residents who marshaled traffic away from the device on the night and urge anyone with further information to come forward to the authorities.”