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Attwood embarrassment over West Belfast PSNI figures

13 August, 2004

Sinn Féin Assembly member for West Belfast Michael Ferguson has said that figures showing that the West Belfast DPP has received no questions from people living in the area in over 15 months was bound to be embarrassing for PSNI champion and local SDLP representative Alex Attwood.

Mr Ferguson said:

" Figures show that the West Belfast DPP, which is incidentally headed by a South Belfast based Women's Coalition member, has received no questions from members of the local community in over 15 months. It has also adopted a position opposing the closure of Andersonstown military base in the heart of the West Belfast community. Indeed there is a widespread local belief that the vast majority of its members have never actually set foot in republican areas in West Belfast.

" In light of this, the absolute lack of public interaction with a body supposedly there to hold the PSNI to account is evidence of just how far removed the current policing arrangements are from the Agreement demand for a new beginning. These figures and the stance adopted by the West Belfast DPP on the Andersonstown barracks issue are bound to cause embarrassment for the local SDLP representative and leading PSNI champion Alex Attwood.

" Mr Attwood has consistently claimed that the PSNI are an accountable policing service. This despite the events of the summer surrounding anti-Catholic parades and the continuing use of plastic bullets and CS gas. These figures taken with successive election results clearly show that the nationalist and republican community do not share his assessment." ENDS

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