Northern Ireland

Creggan parents allege "heavy handed" policing

A group of parents have held a meeting in Londonderry over what they describe as "heavy handed" policing.

The families said they intend to lodge nine complaints to the Police Ombudsman and the Committee on the Administration of Justice.

They include a father who claims his 12-year-old daughter was manhandled by a PSNI officer at an anti-policing protest during the Olympic Flame celebrations.

Danny Campbell defended his decision.

"If you can't take your child to a protest and then balance it up with a police officer who basically assaulted her - what kind of country do we live in?"

Mr Campbell has demanded a full inquiry into the alleged incident.

Meanwhile, another parent, Seana Canning, claimed her 13-year-old son was also assaulted by a PSNI officer in May.

"He was walking past the Creggan shops with his friends when they were stopped by the police," she said.

"They were stopped and he was put aside and put his arm behind his back."

Ms Canning explained why she waited so long to file a complaint about what happened.

"We were waiting for the monitoring forms," she said.

"Personally speaking I've been very upset, it's only now I can start dealing with it."

Community worker Hugh Brady, who chaired the meeting, said the complaints would be lodged within days.

"What I would hope to acheive is that parents of these children will be satisfied that someone in authority is investigating what happened," he said.

"If it turns out that those police officers stepped over the line then I expect them to face the full rigours of the law.

"I would say to all of those families by all means, get those people taken to due process."

In a statement the PSNI said they were unable to comment until a complaint had been received.