Page last updated at 14:16 GMT, Thursday, 16 October 2008 15:16 UK

Woman asked to 'check body claim'

Police officer's back
Police said that a patrol was sent to the area

A west Belfast woman has claimed police called her to see if she could check if there was a body in her street.

Deidre Morrison said an officer telephoned her Irwell Court home on Wednesday and said they did not have the "resources" to check it themselves.

Police said officers were "trying to confirm the veracity of a report" and that when it was confirmed later they sent a patrol to the area.

It transpired there was a drunk woman lying in the street.

Ms Morrison said she now intends is to make an official complaint to the police.

"I shouldn't have been put in this position, definitely not. Especially whenever you have two children to rear and you're trying to get them out to school in the mornings - you don't need this hassle," she said.

Ms Morrison added that when the officer called he said "they did not want to be lured into the area".

West Belfast Sinn Féin assembly member Paul Maskey said the situation was "nothing short of unbelievable".

"The phoning of a local resident by getting her phone number off a file on a completely unrelated matter, then asking her to do the PSNI's job, on top of taking over 25 minutes before they actually responded to this incident is a massive failure of responsibility," he said.

Ulster Unionist policing board member Basil McCrea said it had been an "error of judgement" to call Ms Morrison.

A statement issued by the police read: "Shortly before 0645 on 15 October, police received a call in relation to an incident in the Falls area of west Belfast.

"Officers initially attempting to confirm the veracity of the call were unable to do so. However, following further enquiries they were able to establish confirmation of the incident and a patrol was immediately dispatched to the area."

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