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PSNI failing to tackle loyalist campaign

31 August, 2005

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Policing Gerry Kelly has said that the PSNI have abjectly failed to tackle the ongoing unionist paramilitary campaign against Catholics and nationalists.

Mr Kelly said:

"Over the past number of weeks the sectarian campaign being waged against Catholics and nationalists in areas like North Antrim has intensified. It has not met with a robust response from the PSNI. In fact the contrary would appear to be the position.

"Instead of confronting those organisations responsible too often the PSNI have publicly failed to even acknowledge that the motivation behind this campaign is sectarian. In doing so they are providing cover for those behind the nightly attacks. It sends out a message that there is a toleration of loyalist violence and an acceptance that these attacks will continue without hindrance.

"People feel that unionist paramilitaries are being allowed to set the agenda. Vulnerable and isolated nationalist communities are being exposed to a completely unacceptable level of violence and intimidation.

"It is a widely accepted fact that the PSNI control agents at every level within these loyalist gangs. There is a suspicion that it is this relationship which is dictating the softly softly approach being adopted by the PSNI on the ground to these attacks.

"In recent weeks we have had 5 murders directly linked to the UVF. We have had scores of attacks on nationalists, these attacks continued again last night, yet people are not appearing before the courts. It is simply not believable to suggest that the PSNI are doing their level best to address this situation." ENDS

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