A wave of condemnation has followed an incident in which a police car was almost pushed into the sea at Carnlough.
An officer was injured when the vehicle he was driving was rammed in the Co. Antrim village around 1.00am on Friday. He sustained bruising and whiplash-type injuries but continued with the rest of his shift.
Inspector Peter Duncan said: “The officer was conducting a proactive patrol in the High Street and Harbour areas when he noted a vehicle he found suspicious. He approached the silver Jeep, positioning his unmarked police car in front of the suspect vehicle. He was attempting to alight when his patrol vehicle was rammed and almost pushed into the water. The Jeep then made off at speed.
“The officer immediately followed the suspect car but was forced to abandon his efforts due to the extensive damage that had been caused to the police vehicle. The Jeep was later found abandoned and has been seized for forensic examination.
“I would commend the officer concerned for both his bravery and resilience and wish him a speedy recovery.”
Mr Duncan’s views were echoed by elected representatives. East Antrim UUP Roy Beggs said: “The 4x4 vehicle was used as a weapon to damage the police car and could have resulted in even more serious injury to the officer. We have to be thankful of the bravery of the officer who tried to follow the criminal involved despite the injuries he had sustained during the attack.”
UUP Cllr Andrew Wilson, a member of Mid and East Antrim Policing and Community Safety Partnership, said: “Shocking attack on a PSNI officer who was simply doing his job, trying to keep Mid & East Antrim safe. I hope the officer makes a full recovery and I condemn those behind this attack.”
Describing it as “a wreckless and life threatening attack”, Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson extended “best wishes to the officer” and urged anyone with information to contact police.