Police deal with hospital disturbance

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Local police were called to deal with a man causing a disturbance at Craigavon Hospital yesterday (Wednesday).

They have paid tribute to local drivers who did the right thing as officers responded to a call.

Officers from Armagh had called for help as they dealt with a prisoner at the hospital.

Local police said (in a Facebook post): “There are few things as terrifying for us as hearing that our colleagues are in trouble and need assistance. Often, in the heat of the moment, it can be unclear on the radio exactly what is going on.

“All you know is where they are, and that they need help. That was what we were faced with yesterday here in Lurgan.

“Colleagues from Armagh were in Craigavon Area Hospital with a prisoner when the call came, two cars raced from Lurgan towards the hospital. Knowing that you are going to your colleagues aid, yet that you are driving a heavy car, often going against the flow of traffic, through red lights, and overtaking where normally you wouldn’t is one of the most mentally draining things you can imagine.

“It’s not just colleagues we think of, it’s the public around us. Yesterday, you guys did a fantastic job, and made that drive a lot easier than it could have been. Everyone was paying attention, reacted when they saw the blue lights, and made sure we got there quickly and safely. Thank you for stepping up!

“When we arrived at the hospital we raced through the corridors to the Armagh crew. With the assistance of our fantastic NHS colleagues we were able to restrain and arrest a male for a string of offences, most notably the several thousand pounds worth of damage to a ward toilet and equipment.

“Thankfully, during yesterday’s incident, no one was injured. We would like to apologise to anyone who was in, or had family in, Craigavon A&E yesterday and witnessed this.

“It would have been terrifying to see and hear, and when we barrelled through the corridors that probably added to the confusion. Sometimes we have to arrive at incidents in a fairly assertive way in order to keep people safe. Thanks to you, yesterday we managed that.”

A man was taken into custody and later charged.