1. ITV Report

NI police played roles in Manchester and London response

DI Connie Hampton and some of the Hostage Negotiator team who traveled to Manchester. Photo: PSNI

Police from Northern Ireland have been assisting their colleagues in Manchester and London in response to the recent terror attacks.

It has emerged that officers from the PSNI’s Casualty Bureau helped deal with national helpline calls from the public, following Saturday night’s attack at London Bridge.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the Manchester bombing last month, four hostage and crisis negotiators from the PSNI traveled to England.

Detective Inspector Connie Hampton took on the role of Command Negotiator Advisor, assisting with arrest operations, while her three colleagues were deployed on the ground to help with “house entry and arrest operations” - which led to three men being detained.

For two 12-hour periods, they provided the main negotiator expertise for the entire Manchester operation.

Some of the PSNI Hostage Negotiator team getting ready to go out on the ground. Credit: PSNI

A minute’s silence was held on Tuesday in Northern Ireland and across the UK for the victims of the terror attack in London.

People gathered at the Guildhall in Londonderry to pay their respects for the seven people who were killed and the 48 injured, 18 of whom remain in a critical condition.

The continental market in Belfast city centre also came to a standstill at 11am.

Meanwhile police have named the three men involved in the deadly van and knife attack as 27-year-old Khuram Butt, 30-year-old Rachid Redouane and 22-year-old Youssef Zaghba.

One of them, Rachid Redouane, was found to have an ID card issued in Ireland - and it has since emerged he lived in Dublin with his wife and daughter.

He is thought to be of Moroccan and Libyan origin.

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

Police marksmen shot the three suspects dead within eight minutes of the attack beginning, when a van was driven into pedestrians on London Bridge on Saturday evening.

The attackers then got out and stabbed people in Borough Market.

DCI Neill McGuinness, PSNI Negotiator Co-ordinator, planning for one of the arrest operations. Credit: PSNI

In the aftermath of what happened, 10 officers from the PSNI's Casualty Bureau took helpline calls from concerned members of the public and helped deal with the information flow between police and the public.

Chief Inspector Natalie Wilson said the PSNI had staffed the request for national helpline assistance within 15 minutes of it coming through, early on Sunday morning.

She said: “Our role is to contribute to the overall response to a major incident.

“We are one of a number of Casualty Bureaux across the UK and we work together as a network.

“On a very human level, what we do is about reducing the anguish of those people desperate to locate their friends or relatives.”

And following the 26 May Manchester bombing at an Ariana Grande concert, which killed 22 people including young children, DI Hampton said she is proud of how her team responded.

She said they were complimented on their professionalism and preparation skills by one of the senior Counter Terrorism advisors in Manchester.

DI Hampton said: “Although we have been trained to deal with all eventualities, we are used to dealing with terrorist and paramilitary activity in Northern Ireland so this was the first time we had put our international counter terrorism training into practice.

I feel very proud to represent the PSNI in offering assistance in situations like Manchester.

– Detective Inspector Connie Hampton

“We were very honoured to have been able to bring our expertise to help arrest those who are suspected of having the capability of making this horrific bomb and carrying out such a cruel and indiscriminate attack.

“The focus is on bringing them to justice, on behalf of the victims and their families, for this terrible and heartless atrocity, which targeted mostly children and young people.

“In Northern Ireland we have, sadly, seen many horrific situations over the years and being able to help and deploy a really strong, competent and capable team to colleagues who are under immense strain, is something that makes me feel proud.”