PSNI 'more to do' to gain confidence of community in Rasharkin
North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has said that the PSNI has ‘more to do’ to gain the confidence of people living in Rasharkin. Mr McKay was speaking after attending a meeting held by the PSNI in the village which was attended by 30-40 local people.
Mr McKay said
“The public meeting in Rasharkin last week went on for over two hours and members of the public spoke to the police concerning a variety of matters, chiefly parades, incidents involving the police in Kilrea on St Patricks Day and the PSNI’s relationship with young people and the nationalist community in general. The behaviour of TSG units and a perceived lack of ability to deal with and speak to local people with respect also remains an issue of concern.
“During the meeting a number of speakers highlighted the fact that no-one in Rasharkin supports attacks on places of worship, Orange halls, AOH halls and GAA property. The majority of people there also thought that the police had to date not dealt with a number of officers who had engaged in physical abuse, verbal abuse and undermined community relations. The fact that an officer has been reported for punching a young person in Kilrea recently by other officers was welcomed but that needs to become the norm in all situations of that nature if the police are to gain the confidence of people living here.“For their part the police recognised that relations between the public here and the police are not what they should be and listened to all the concerns that were outlined. The litmus test for the police, in the eyes of the public here, will be in how they respond to the community’s concerns over the next number of months and that changes are made to their approach to this community.” ENDS