PSNI intimidation in Belfast

The PSNI mounted a military-style raid and arrest operation in north Belfast on Saturday which was described as ‘aggressive’ by local residents.

Three houses in the Ardoyne and the Bone area were raided in the heavy-handed operation involving at least eight armoured vehicles.

All of those targeted in the operation are believed to be members of the ‘Concerned Families against Drugs’ group.

One man was arrested in the operation. The PSNI claimed his arrest was in connection with the bomb attack at MI5 headquarters ealier this month.

A representative of the CFAD group said the PSNI operation was “harassment and intimidation” of the republican Ardoyne community and its membership. The arrested individual was subsequently released without charge.

The PSNI was also condemned for a heavy-handed arrest operation in the Short Strand in east Belfast on Friday afternoon.

Sinn Fein criticised the PSNI police after a car was stopped and two young locals pulled out and handcuffed on the ground with weapons pointed at them.

“The community in the Short Strand are rightly angered by the over reaction of the PSNI this afternoon,” said local SF representative Niall O Donnghaile.

“They claim they were acting on ‘intelligence’, yet this so-called intelligence proved to be false and two young residents are suffering as a result.

“Understandably the community in the area are looking at this type of action yet wondering why the PSNI is failing to take similar action in dealing with the real problems of antisocial behaviour affecting our area.

“I have contacted the PSNI this afternoon and will be raising this issue with colleagues on the Policing Board immediately.

“This unacceptable type of policing will not be tolerated by our community.”

In a separate incident, the PSNI used controversial CS gas to subdue youths in the early hours of Sunday in Ballycastle, County Antrim.

A mini-riot broke out after the PSNI become involved in disturbances in the Diamond area of the town at about 2am. Two men were taken to hospital for gas inhalation.

The SDLP blamed the disturbances on young people who they claimed had travelled from outside the area.

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