PSNI express 'frustration' as 19 officers are tied up with hospital duties

Police vehicles parked outside Craigavon A&E
Police vehicles parked outside Craigavon A&E

Mid Ulster PSNI has expressed "great frustration" at the strain on resources after 19 officers were sent on duties to Antrim and Craigavon hospitals at the weekend.

The officers were taken off the beat in Magherafelt and Dungannon areas.

"That's 19 officers many miles from the district, 19 officers removed from policing your area, 19 officers unable to respond to calls and carrying out anti-burglary patrols," they said in a social media post.

"We were there with individuals who’d been arrested for drink driving, domestic abuse, assaults and road traffic collisions due to drink.

"The A&E department itself was like an Eastenders Christmas Special meets Jeremy Kyle, with additional local police required to deal with that side of things.

"It’s part of a wider debate about police resources and police being a general catch all service expected to plug endless gaps.

"As is so often the case most of these boil down to individuals and personal responsibility - or rather a severe lack of it, with the expectation that police will just pick up the pieces. The mindset needs to change, it is not sustainable."