Police officer knocked unconscious in Fintona licensed premises incident

Police officer knocked unconscious in Fintona licensed premises
Darren Beattie

Reporter:

Darren Beattie

Email:

darren.beattie@tyronecon.co.uk

TWO police officers were injured when responding to a call in relation to underage drinkers at a licenced premises in Fintona on Friday.

A spokesperson for PSNI said that when police entered the premises "there was approximately 150 people present and breaches of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 were observed".

A police spokeswoman added: "As police were dealing with the incident, a male officer was punched and knocked unconscious while a fellow officer who attempted to detain the suspect was punched.

"The officer that was knocked unconscious was taken to hospital as a precaution.

"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 Cov2 prohibition notice and a Cov 9 £1,000 fine issued."

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.

"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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