Irish Republican News · July 8, 2005
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
PSNI accused of sectarian policing

A County Derry man has spoken out against an attempt by the PSNI to recruit him as an informer as loyalist attacks in the area are ignored.

The man, who does not want to be identified, was arrested by armed PSNI officers at his home in Kilrea, County Derry, at the end of May.

After being taken to Coleraine PSNI station the man says he was approached by two plain-clothed officers who asked him questions about two named republicans in the Kilrea area.

The officers, believed to members of Special Branch, also told the man to expect a further approach in the coming weeks.

The attempt to recruit the man came after a raid on his home when the PSNI recovered several legally purchased air rifles and a crossbow.

Local Sinn Féin councillor Billy Leonard condemned the PSNI action, which he said was “stasi-like”.

“It is yet another example of policing with a political agenda. This man confirmed to me that he was asked to give details on two of our activists in the general Kilrea area.

“This is totally unacceptable and the detectives investigating the unrelated issues know that it is wrong and they have absolutely no right to do this.

“A person’s political activity and membership is an absolute right and the police, even in the North, must now accept that.”

Police in the area have been accused of failing to protect the homes of nationalists following a third sectarian attack in Coleraine within the past month.

In the latest incident, loyalists threw a brick through the window of a family home in the predominantly unionist Harper’s Hill area of Coleraine on Tuesday morning.

Mr Leonard linked the attack to an alleged list of Sinn Féin members posted in the Harpers Hill area last month.

* Four houses were targeted by loyalist petrol bombers in Newtownbreda village outside Belfast on Monday. The homes were of different religious denominations and police said they were “investigating a motive” for the attacks.

No-one was injured in the incident, although minor scorch damage was caused to the houses.

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© 2005 Irish Republican News