PSNI searched for drugs in Lurgan while fellow officers dealt with nearby terrorist bid to murder police

While a security operation was at Tullygally Road, Craigavon, above, responding to a dissident republican explosive device, PSNI officers were carrying out drugs searches in nearby Lurgan. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
While a security operation was at Tullygally Road, Craigavon, above, responding to a dissident republican explosive device, PSNI officers were carrying out drugs searches in nearby Lurgan. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Police were trying make Northern Ireland safer by seizing drugs in Lurgan while terrorists were trying to murder them a short distance away, a senior PSNI officer said yesterday.

Detective Inspector Barry Hamilton was speaking about a narcotics operation in the town and also in Banbridge on Saturday, as the PSNI were dealing with the aftermath of the Craigavon dissident republican bomb bid.

A man will appear in Craigavon Magistratres’ Court on August 21 on drug related offences as a result of the searches.

The man, 41, had been charged with possessing criminal property, possessing a class B controlled drug, possessing a class B controlled drug with intent to supply and being concerned in the supply of a class B drug.

The searches in Lurgan and Banbridge found suspected cannabis with an estimated street value of £6,500.

A number of items were also seized, including £7,000 in cash and an offensive weapon.

The man was detained at the Lurgan address.

Inspector Hamilton said: “We are committed to making Northern Ireland a hostile environment to those within our local community involved in drug dealing.

“We will continue to work hard to identify them, arrest them and bring them before the courts.”

He added: “This operation took place at the same time as officers were dealing with an attempt to murder our colleagues a short distance away.

“This is testament to the dedication of the officers who serve Northern Ireland and who will not be deterred from coming to work every day to help keep people safe.

“I would encourage anyone with information about the sale and supply of illegal drugs to get in touch with police.”

Mr Hamilton said : “Community intelligence is key in enabling us to gather an accurate picture of what is happening in our local communities and to focus our resources on the areas and issues people are concerned about. Local police can be contacted on 101 or online via the online reporting form on the PSNI website.”

Meanwhile, police on Friday seized suspected class A drugs after searches in Belfast.

Sergeant Angela Elliott said suspected cocaine was discovered after police stopped a vehicle on the Cavehill Road.

“A subsequent search carried out at the property in the Antrim Road area of north Belfast uncovered further quantity of suspected Class A, which was seized. A 40 year old man was arrested on suspicion of two counts of possessing a class A controlled drug and possession of a class A controlled drug with intent.

“A 20 year old man was arrested on suspicion of possessing of a class A controlled drug, possession of a class A controlled drug with intent to supply and using a motor vehicle without insurance.

“Both men were released on bail pending further enquiries.”

Sergeant Elliott added: “We are committed to making Northern Ireland a hostile environment to those within our local community involved in drug dealing. We will seek to identify them, arrest them and bring them before the courts. I would encourage anyone with information about the sale and supply of illegal drugs to get in touch with police.”