UK NI police officer hurt in lorry hit-and-run stable in hospital

NI police officer hurt in lorry hit-and-run stable in hospital

A cash machine had been ripped from the wall of a filling station during a robbery near Newry.

A police officer who was seriously injured in a hit-and-run incident in County Armagh remains in a stable condition in hospital.

Police said a lorry was driven at speed directly at the officer and he was pinned between it and a police vehicle. The lorry left the scene.

It happened in Cullyhanna as he was investigating the theft of a cash machine about 13 miles away near Newry.

Police are treating the incident as attempted murder

Supt Simon Walls said: “From the accounts of those at the scene, this appears to have been a deliberate act and as such we will be treating this incident as the attempted murder of a police officer.”

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said the officer was struck after leaving his vehicle to speak to the driver of “a suspicious lorry transporting a car” on Mullaghduff Road.

He was given emergency first aid at the scene by his colleagues, before being taken by the police helicopter to hospital in Belfast.

The lorry is described as a low loader with a white cab with a red body and a yellow bumper. It was carrying a white or silver vehicle.

Policing Board chair Anne Connolly said: “This officer was simply doing his job but it shows the dangers our officers can face in serving the community.”

Sinn Féin assembly member Megan Fearon said: “This was a horrendous attack and there can be no justification for it.”

Democratic Unionist Party assembly member William Irwin said: “If the person responsible for this incident is linked to the theft then it underlines the extremely dangerous nature of those involved in organised theft of cash machines.”

Ulster Unionist councillor David Taylor said: “It is disgusting that a man serving the whole community should be mown down in the line of duty.”

Earlier on Friday, a man in his 20s was arrested at Drumass, Inniskeen, in County Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland, after a digger was used to rip the cash machine from the wall of a filling station on the Camlough Road, near Newry, at about 03:30 GMT.

Police on both sides of the border are continuing to search for a number of men who fled following the robbery.