Derry mayor wants officer who ordered search sacked

Kevin Campbell
Image caption Sinn Fein mayor Kevin Campbell's home was raided by the PSNI.

The Mayor of Derry says the police officer who made the decision to search his home last month should be sacked.

Sinn Fein councillor Kevin Campbell's home in Creggan was entered by officers carrying out searches in relation to dissident republican activity.

On Monday the PSNI issued a public apology to Mr Campbell and his family

The police said the search was a mistake, and Mr Campbell said he accepted their apology.

But he added that the officer responsible for giving the go ahead for the search must be disciplined.

Mr Campbell said: "Without a doubt heads should roll. There was a gap of almost four and a half and five hours between the police arriving at my door and entering my home. The ordinary constable on the ground who make the initial decision not to go in because he realised that it was wrong, showed leadership.

"Someone else then made the decision from a distance make the decision to go ahead and search my home.

'Trauma'

"This decision by the PSNI to issue an unreserved and unconditional apology to myself and my wife and family for the indignity and trauma inflicted on us by this unwarranted raid on our home vindicates what I said at the time - the PSNI got it wrong and should publicly admit their mistake," he said.

He added: "I believe that this outcome was imperative if we are to rebuild public confidence and continue to develop accountable and transparent policing in our community."

The PSNI had said last month the 12 July searches were in response to suspected activity by the vigilante group Republican Action Against Drugs, and claimed two men were seen running into Mr Campbell's house.

A laptop and three mobile phones were taken away during the search.

ACC Jones and Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin visited Mr Campbell and his wife on Monday to apologise.

"On behalf of the chief constable, I unequivocally apologise for what took place at the mayor's home on 12 July," said ACC Jones.

"We are grateful for the grace and dignity with which the mayor and his wife received our apology."

He also apologised for the "length of time it has taken us to be in a position to issue this apology".

"We understand that it is important that police are properly held to account and for that reason we have decided to refer the matter to the Police Ombudsman's Office for independent investigation," he said.

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