A COMPLAINT has been lodged against two police officers who are alleged to have woken a Ballygawley family in the early hours of the morning to demand a parcel which had been delivered to the wrong address.
But the PSNI have defended their actions in the seemingly trivial matter, claiming they had been responding to “domestic incident” and that the call-out was treated as “priority” on safety grounds.
However, the family who contacted the UH have expressed their anger over what they claim was the “heavy handed” and “over the top” approach by the police.
The bizarre confrontation developed from an ongoing dispute between the family and their next-door neighbours.
When a parcel from the online retail giant Amazon was mistakenly delivered to the family’s home, they claim they made arrangements with the courier service to have the parcel delivered to the correct address, which was next door.
But the situation rapidly deteriorated when a call was made to the PSNI by the neighbours, which led police to the door of the family shortly before 1am on Saturday morning.
“Two policemen came banging at our door and woke up our whole family of five young children,” said the mother – who did not want their names revealed.
“The family were distressed by the noise and the pandemonium that followed.
“We discovered that the two policemen were looking for a parcel that had been mistakenly delivered to the wrong address by a courier earlier in the week.”
The mother said she still felt distressed several days after the early-morning police call and revealed that they had reported the matter to the Police Ombudsman, as well as making a complaint to the PSNI.
“This was way over-the-top. The police already knew that we had made arrangements over the parcel, so what were they doing waking the family at that hour of the morning, all over the head of a parcel? It just doesn’t make sense.”
When contacted by the Ulster Herald, the police confirmed they had “received the report of a domestic incident and theft in the Dungannon road area of Ballygawley around 10.30pm on Friday evening, November 30”.
Superintendent Mike Baird said, “Because of how this call was initially reported to us, police initiated a ‘priority response’. This happens when there is a genuine concern for someone’s safety and any report of a domestic incident necessitates a priority attendance.
“Officers were dispatched to the caller’s address and arrived there at 11.55pm.
“Having spoken with the two parties involved in the incident at two separate addresses, this was deemed to be a civil dispute and was later closed as a police matter.
“What is most important to me and my officers is to keep people safe and our response to this call was completely appropriate, based on the details we had at the time.”
The senior police officer added, “Anyone with a complaint to make regarding police action should contact the Police Ombudsman.”