Gerry Adams and Ballymurphy Representatives Meet Orde
The focus of the meeting was to discuss criminality and anti-social behaviour in the Ballymurphy area and the PSNI response to it.
The community representatives were from the Ballymurphy Residents Association, the Upper Springfield Federation of Resident Associations and the Community Restorative Justice.
Speaking after the meeting Mr. Adams said:
"This was a very useful first meeting of this kind. It was an opportunity for community representatives to speak directly to Hugh. Orde and outline to him the range of problems confronting the citizens of Ballymurphy, some of which are linked to a violent and brutal feud between a small number of families.
We put to Mr. Orde the widespread belief, that exists within the area, that the PSNI has failed to respond properly to requests for help.
We put to the PSNI a number of proposals to increase contact between it and the community groups, including the establishment of a Safer Neighbourhood Forum involving most of the statutory agencies, including the City Council, Social Services, the Housing Executive, Probation service and others. Our purpose is to build a working relationship with the PSNI which can contribute to the effective tackling of criminality and anti-social behaviour.
For their part the PSNI also indicated a willingness to meet more regularly with the local community representatives, as well as bringing forward more specific proposals around additional resources, including officers on the ground, and policing practices within the district.
The local community wants the PSNI to do its job, to thoroughly investigate complaints of criminality and anti-social behaviour and arrest those responsible and take them off the streets.
This mornings meeting was an important first step in this process.