STRABANE’S top police officer says he believes a weekend bomb hoax in the Ballycolman was an attempt to draw officers into the area.
Chief Inspector Andy Lemon was defending the PSNI’s response to a coffee jar device left on a road into the estate in the early hours of Monday.
It has emerged that police officers failed to turn up at the scene, but instead contacted a civilian to attend.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Mr Lemon said the incident was an attempt to lure officers onto the estate.
“It is very important that adequate resources are deployed to deal appropriately with security alerts and in this instance, as police were waiting on additional resources, I was informed the device had been moved twice by members of the community. As the location had changed three times, police officers went to where the suspect device was in order to have the device examined by Army Technical Officers.
“These are despicable attempts to lure my officers into the area and potentially subject them to dangerous attacks and I completely understand the frustrations within the community who suffer as a result.
“Those responsible are reckless individuals who cause sustained distress and disruption to their own communities particularly to older people and the most vulnerable.”