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Kelly calls on Chief Constable to withdraw ‘disgraceful’ remarks

5 September, 2019 - by Gerry Kelly


Sinn Féin Policing spokesperson Gerry Kelly MLA is calling on the PSNI Chief Constable to withdraw remarks in which he warned that children could be taken into care as a way of tackling paramilitarism.

The North Belfast MLA was commenting after Simon Byrne warned that children could be taken from their parents as a deterrent.

Gerry Kelly said:

“The Chief Constable’s remarks about taking children away from their parents and their homes are unacceptable.

“The safety and welfare of children must always be paramount, they can’t be used as pawns in a wider strategy to ‘deter’ paramilitaries in their anti-community activity.

“It flies in the face of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and all the evidence and current good practice within the criminal justice system concerning the safeguarding of children.

“His comments are all the more unacceptable since they were made at a conference on 'Young People, Policing and Stop and Search' powers.

“I will be calling on him at today’s Policing Board meeting to withdraw these disgraceful remarks and to confirm there is no such strategy in place to take children from their homes.”

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