THE POLICE have said that to claim they deliberately targeted farmers for road offences during the heavy snow would be a “falsehood”.
During this week’s environment committee meeting councillors expressed their disgust that farmers who had used their own equipment to help stricken residents during the bad weather had been fined for having agricultural vehicles on the public roads.
However, the police have said there were a number of “isolated incidents” which had been “blown out of proportion” by social media sites.
A police spokeswoman said that while a number of people were given fixed penalty notices for various road offences, there was a “litany” of issues with their vehicles and police had a duty to enforce the rules of the road.
PSNI’s Chief Superintendent Chris Noble added: “The notion that police targeted tractor drivers as they cleared snow during the recent snowy weather is a falsehood.
“Police have a responsibility to keep all road users and pedestrians safe and indeed the necessity to drive with due care and attention is increased during bad weather.
“Rather, during the period, police worked tirelessly to assist those most affected. We worked as part of a multi-agency response in dangerous and challenging conditions to deliver food, medication and assistance to those who had been snowed in as well as evacuating a number of people who required emergency medical attention.
“As is so often the case police officers put the safety and wellbeing of the public before their own and along with other partners received many thanks and comments of appreciation.”