Police arrested a 35-year-old man in the Newry area on Wednesday, February 1 following a dramatic pursuit that involved officers from several different districts, including Belfast, Lisburn, Craigavon and Banbridge.
The pursuit began shortly after 4pm when the driver of a Renault car refused to stop for officers in Belfast and rammed a police vehicle in order to make his escape.
“A silver coloured Renault Scenic car towing a blue trailer failed to stop for the Auto Crime Team on the Falls Road in Belfast shortly after 4pm, when signalled to do so. The Scenic reversed into a police car causing damage and injury to two police officers. The car was then driven out of Belfast towards Nutts Corner then across country, heading south via Moira and Banbridge, followed by pursuit trained drivers and the police helicopter, before being stopped near Newry,” Sergeant Vance explained.
“The man has been arrested on suspicion of burglary, driving whilst disqualified, dangerous driving, no insurance, criminal damage and failing to stop, report and remain at a road traffic collision and is currently in custody assisting with police enquiries.
“At this stage we believe that the Scenic may have been in contact with other vehicles whilst evading police and I would ask anyone affected or anyone with any information which could assist us with our enquiries to contact officers in Newry on 101 quoting reference 802 01/02/17.”
Details of the incident were posted on the PSNI Craigavon Facebook page yesterday evening, along with pictures of the damaged Renault Scenic.
“Air Support, Dog Section, crews from Belfast, Lisburn, Newry, Craigavon, crime teams and TSG were involved. All coordinated by our incident controller. It’s a bad move trying to out run pursuit trained drivers at the best of times, but with that lot after you, the helicopter overhead and PDs (police dogs) Mike, Rex and Dino ready to “assist” you from the car...madness,” the post said.
“By the time this was brought to a stop, he was running on two tyres. Thankfully, with that many crews involved, the risk to the public was kept to a minimum but this guy showed by his driving that he blatantly had no regard for anyone’s safety.
“The good choice he made was, after his tyres were taken out, to come very, very quietly! Arrested for what can be best described as a ‘multitude’ of driving offences, the investigation into why he and his passenger didn’t stop has just begun. The car, a trailer which was earlier attached, and their contents will all be examined.”
It added: “Thanks to all who aided our swift exit from Lurgan and onwards towards Dromore, Gilford, and along the country roads (that I’m not even sure had names) right the way down to Newry.
“It may sound like a lot of fun, but some exceptional and exhausting driving from some very skilled police drivers has ended with a risk to the public being taken off the roads. Turns out it IS possible to have fun Keeping People Safe!”