17 year old charged in connection with assault on two police officers in Fintona
A 17-year-old male has been charged with offences including assault on police, resisting police and disorderly behaviour, and is scheduled to appear before Omagh Youth Court on 19 May. As is normal procedure, the charges will be reviewed by the Public Prosecution Service. The charges are in connection to an incident in Fintona on Friday night (30 April) when two police officers were assaulted.
The police officers were injured when responding to a call on Friday evening in relation to underage drinkers at licensed premises in Fintona and breaches of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021.
Police responded to the call, which was made at around 6.35pm. When they entered the premises there was approximately 150 people present and breaches of The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 were observed.
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.
The 17-year-old male was subsequently arrested on suspicion of offences, including assault on police and disorderly behaviour.
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 £1000 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."
Chief Inspector 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."
When a prohibition notice is issued, the premises will be closed until police are satisfied the relevant breaches have been appropriately addressed.