TRIBUTES have been pouring in following the death of 27-year-old PSNI Constable Phillipa Reynolds, who died at the weekend.
Constable Reynolds was in the rear seat of a police vehicle which was involved in a collision with a stolen vehicle. Two men have been arrested in connection with the incident, and are due in court this morning. The police have appealed for anyone who witnessed the collision or knows anything about it to contact them.
Within hours of the fatal collision tributes began pouring in for Constable Reynolds, among them the Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Bishop Ken Good, who said: “The whole community is shocked at the tragic death of PSNI Constable Philippa Reynolds, whose life was cut short in the early hours of Saturday morning. On behalf of the diocese, I want to express our heartfelt sympathy to Constable Reynold’s family and to her colleagues in the PSNI.
“This tragic incident reminds us all of the courageous service which the PSNI performs for us. We are deeply grateful to them for all they do. We are greatly saddened that Constable Reynolds lost her life while serving the people of this city. We all join in upholding both the Reynolds family and Philppa’s colleagues in our prayers.”
The First and Deputy First Ministers, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness said: “This is devastating news and we want to extend our heartfelt sympathies to the Police Officer’s family, friends and colleagues. Officers in the PSNI put their lives at risk on a daily basis to serve and protect our community and we are all truly grateful for their dedicated service.”
They also wished the two police officer colleagues of the late Constable Reynolds who were injured in the incident a speedy and full recovery.
Meanwhile, Justice Minister David Ford said: “I was shocked to hear of this tragic incident which resulted in the death of a police constable who was carrying out her duties serving the community in the middle of the night. My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time.
“I also send my best wishes to the two officers injured in this incident for a speedy and full recovery. It is hard to imagine how they, and indeed the wider PSNI family, are feeling.”
“This is not the first time we have seen death and injury resulting from car crime. I call on those engaged in this crime to reflect on the consequences of their actions and stop this senseless activity. I would urge anyone with any information to pass it to the police or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
SDLP MP Mark Durkan said he was “saddened” by the tragic death of the young female officer, saying: “My sympathies go out to her family and friends at this very difficult time, as they struggle to come to terms with this tragic news. My thoughts are also with the wider police family, not least those who were on duty alongside her, who have lost both a friend and a colleague.”
Sinn Féin Foyle MLA and vice-chairman of the Justice Committee, Raymond McCartney, expressed his condolences to the family of Constable Reynolds, and said: “I would like to offer my condolences to the family of the young policewomen who diedand would urge anyone who has any information in relation to it to bring it forward to the PSNI straight away.”