Republican News · Thursday 15 June 2000

[An Phoblacht]

RUC help hoods, harass residents

gry residents have accused the RUC of colluding with anti social elements in the Springfield Road area of Belfast following an incident in which a local man was attacked and injured. The father of three was attacked with a knife after he thwarted an attempt by a local petty criminal to set fire to his house.

The resident gave chase to the man, a well known local hood, and in an ensuing confrontation the man pulled out a home made knife and attempted to slash the resident's throat.

Within an hour of the attack, the RUC swamped the area. Around 25 mobile patrols in armoured Land Rovers drove around the area as well as a number of unmarked cars carrying uniformed personnel and undercover.

Friends and relatives of the injured man were followed by RUC patrols. Two women were terrified when an RUC vehicle followed them down to the lower Clonard area. The RUC vehicle trained a spotlight on the two women for the duration of their journey.

In sharp contrast to the RUC `s attitude towards local residents, stolen cars being driven by joyriders were ignored by the RUC. ``They just stood by and watched,'' said a local resident.

A member of the Springfield Residents Action Group accused the RUC of moving into the area in such force, ``to protect criminals''.

The spokesperson also told An Phoblacht that the RUC's action in this instance is in complete contrast to their inaction over the almost nightly loyalist attacks on residents living along the peace wall''.

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