Four charged after Banbridge weapons seizures

An array of edged weapons seized by police following a Monday morning disturbance in the Limewood area of Banbridge. The 10-pence coin gives an idea of the size of the blades.
An array of edged weapons seized by police following a Monday morning disturbance in the Limewood area of Banbridge. The 10-pence coin gives an idea of the size of the blades.

Four people have now been charged with an array of offences connected to Monday morning’s disturbance in Banbridge’s Limewood area, where police made five arrests and seized a number of edged weapons.

Three of those charged are due to appear in court later today.

Between them the four are charged with offences including common assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, disorderly behavior, possession of an offensive weapon in a public place, possession of an offensive weapon with intent to commit an indictable offence, theft, criminal damage and possession of a prohibited weapon.

The message from police was ”We will not tolerate violent crime such as this in our patch. It has no place in society.

“A massive thank-you to those who have phoned us to report these incidents over the past 24 hours or so. Please continue to do so.”

Officers from Banbridge, Armagh and Lurgan attended the Monday morning “domestic” incident, in which no-one was badly hurt, though it was stressed the weapons concerned could easily have killed.

On social media police revealed that, overnight, officers had returned to Limewood and seized more suspected offensive weapons, in respect of which investigations continue.

“It has been a long 24 hours,” they said. “It has involved input from three response sections and their sergeants, crews from Banbridge, Lurgan, Armagh and Newry, two inspectors, parts of two TSG units, Air Support, our Armed Response Unit, our volume crime support team, our custody sergeants and custody officers.

“The end result is a lot of weapons off the street and a handful of charge sheets.”

They earlier appealed to anyone living in Limewood who had yet to speak to police and might be of assitance, to call them on 101, quoting incident 321 of 20/06/16.

Upper Bann MLA Carla Lockhart was among those to praise the PSNI for what she called its proactive approach to the disturbance.

“I want to pay tribute to the police officers involved in this successful operation,” she said. “Not only have dangerous weapons been taken off the street but five people were also arrested.

“There can be no justifiable reason for anyone to carry these weapons on their person and it is very welcome for the residents of Limewood and the greater Banbridge area that they are now in the possession of the PSNI.

“I have spoken with the PSNI and my understanding is that this is a domestic issue and that extra resources are being deployed to deal with the situation.

“I would ask anyone who has any information about this incident to contact the police via the 101 number.”

There was praise too from residents online, amid hopes that the incident was a one-off, and police, though relying on the public, they said, to continue reporting suspicious or violent activity, answered a call to “get the PSNI back into Banbridge police station” by insisting they had never been out of Banbridge.

“Yes,” they said. “Some of your local officers parade for briefing in Lurgan, but after that they’re straight over and are in Banbridge all shift.

“Yesterday, two crews were on scene within five minutes of being dispatched . . .”