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Hugh Orde Told To Catch Himself On After Falls Road Publicity Stunt

11 April, 2006

West Belfast Sinn Fein Assembly member Fra McCann has accused the PSNI of deliberately disrupting life on the Falls Road in order to engage in a cheap publicity stunt.

Mr McCann said:

"Today the PSNI paraded down a section of the Falls Road on the back of two horses accompanied by the usual media pack. However to facilitate this publicity stunt in addition to the horses which we are told have been borrowed for the occasion from the Guards, there was a significant armed PSNI presence both on foot and in patrol vehicles.

"This is similar to a stunt performed for the cameras in Derry last year when two PSNI members were placed on bicycles and given armed back up to pose for the cameras in a nationalist part of that city never to be seen again once the cameras left.

"Hugh Orde would need to catch himself on. This type of stunt does not impress anybody in areas like West Belfast. In fact if anything it causes even more annoyance with local people‚s lives disrupted further by an unnecessary PSNI presence in their community.

"Getting policing right is about dealing with the outstanding issues. It is about proving to communities like West Belfast that the PSNI are capable of anything other than political policing. Parading down the Lower Falls on horseback for the benefit of the media does nothing to advance this agenda." ENDS

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