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Officer knocked unconscious in disturbance in Fintona

A policeman was knocked unconscious after an incident in Fintona when 150 people were found at a licenced premises in Fintona on Friday.

Two police officers were injured when responding to a call 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 Covid 19 regulations were observed. 

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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. 

The venue in question was issued with a Cov2 prohibition notice and a £1000 fine was issued to the premises. 

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.”

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Ulster Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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