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Orde to attend West Belfast meeting

3 July, 2007

West Belfast MP Gerry Adams, President of Sinn Féin, will co-host a meeting tonight in the Upper Springfield area of the constituency to which he has invited PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde for the first time.

Mr Adams extended the invitation at a meeting last week with Hugh Orde and PSNI Commanders to discuss community concerns about policing in the upper Springfield area. It comes amidst engagement over recent months by community leaders and local political representatives with a range of other statutory bodies and public authorities in an effort to tackle anti-social behaviour and criminality in Ballymurphy.

Mr Adams said:

"Only a tiny minority of people are engaged in this totally unacceptable behaviour. The vast majority of citizens in this area are law abiding and responsible people. This initiative has two purposes: to effectively tackle anti-social and criminality for the people of Ballymurphy and wider community in the upper Springfield area; and to ensure through engagement between republican communities and the PSNI that people get the policing service we are entitled to.

"In the build up to tonight's meeting, a Task Force involving statutory, community and local elected representatives for the upper Springfield has been meeting over the last three months."

"Sinn Féin is working to open new space for the local community and criminal justice agencies, especially the PSNI, to work together and fulfil their obligations to uphold the rights of those who want to live in Ballymurphy in safety and peace, free from intimidation and threat."

"There is a responsibility on Hugh Orde and his colleagues to play a positive role in a multi-agency strategic approach under the auspices of the Upper Springfield Safer Neighbourhoods Forum, where community organisations and statutory agencies can critically engage in ensuring the safety of the local community."

Editors Note: The meeting will take place in the Whiterock Community Centre (Part of Whiterock Leisure Centre Complex) at 7.30pm


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