There has been an angry reaction in Newry after a 13-year-old girl with mental health needs and a friend were harassed by an “aggressive” police patrol in the centre of the town on Thursday, March 10.
Saoradh accusd the PSNI (formerly RUC) of “sheer bully boy tactics and the intimidation of vulnerable children”.
They said the non-verbal young girl in question has recently been suffering from a number of health issues and is currently receiving professional help and intervention support.
The girl had just met her friend outside the Crisis Cafe situated on Edward Street, a safe place that provides vital support for young people struggling with mental health issues, when the PSNI sprung from an armoured vehicle to detain them.
Both youngsters had their identities demanded, including the non-verbal girl who they identified as having family members in Saoradh.
“The Crown Forces couldn’t hide their glee with one of the thugs smugly mentioning her father’s name to her,” Saoradh said in a statement.
“It is inconceivable that young people availing of a mental health Crisis Cafe are finding themselves targeted by armed men outside the premises. Such vindictiveness will have a detrimental effect on the health and well-being of those on the receiving end.
“This is just one in a long line of instances where children find themselves on the receiving end of abuse by gun-toting RUC thugs.
“These are the same child abusing mercenaries that are being brought into youth clubs and schools across the Six Counties as part of the British Forces normalisation strategy.
“The stark reality that Republican families face on the ground in working class areas is much different.
“We doubt these cowards would have been as smug and brave yesterday if they had of been dealing with a capable adult rather than vulnerable young people.”