Kearney challenges PSNI indifference to criminal acts
Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney has directly challenged the PSNI to take robust action against the theft of Sinn Féin election posters in recent days.
The South Antrim MLA was speaking after the removal of fourteen election posters belonging to Andrew Maguire the Sinn Féin candidate in the Dunsilly District Electoral Area.
“This most recent series of thefts which occurred in a specific geographical area surrounding Randalstown was planned and systematic.
“An official complaint has been made by the candidate and I have been in direct contact with the Antrim and Newtownabbey Police Commander.
“Just last week other Sinn Féin posters were stolen from the Airport and Kilultagh DEAs. In the past fortnight a large number of Sinn Féin election posters have also been stolen from other areas across the north and Sinn Féin poster teams have been physically threatened.
“The theft of election posters is a criminal offence and a direct attack upon the democratic process.
“These criminal acts will inevitably lead to another wave of hate crimes later in the summer.
“In the aftermath of last week’s wave of thefts, I privately urged the PSNI to make a public intervention against this criminal disruption of the electoral process.
“I am now publicly calling on the PSNI to take robust and effective legal action against those involved in the criminal theft and possession of election posters.
“This criminality must be stamped out. Those who steal posters and others who keep this stolen property in their possession are guilty of criminal acts. The PSNI need to put these individuals before the courts.
“There must be no ambiguity or indifference in relation to this anti-democratic behaviour. The PSNI needs to get a grip on this particular situation. Effective police action must now happen, and prosecutions pursued.”