West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Councillor accuses PSNI of cynical policing

Published: 31 August, 2011

He said,
"At first local people were bewildered as to the reason for the heavy police presence in the head of the town as nothing untoward had happened. However as the week went on people became increasingly angry that jeeps just appeared to be being repeatedly driven up and down through the area in what was seen as a clear effort to goad local young people into attacking them.
"Inevitably, as the week went on some young people began gathering at the gap steps between Springhill and Fountain Street and some missiles were thrown. However, along with Councillor Karina Carlin we remonstrated with young involved at different stages asking them not to become involved in this activity as it was local residents who would ultimately suffer as a consequence of their actions and to their credit most of the young people heeded these appeals and desisted.
"However, the PSNI must provide an explanation as to why this local community was signalled out for such an oppressive presence throughout last week.
"At one stage during the week, I stood out in front of a jeep at Fountain Street and challenged the PSNI members on board about why this area was being signalled out for such 'special treatment' but failed to secure anything resembling a satisfactory answer.
"Such cynical policing is totally unacceptable and I now would challenge the local District Commander to publically explain to this community why his officers had been dispatched to play such silly games in this area for most of last week. ENDS