Clashes as anger mounts over policing


There has been sporadic unrest in Derry over three days as a provocative Crown Force operation took place in the area of Racecourse Road, Greenhaw Road, Glengalliagh Road and Fern Road.

Riot police and at least seven armoured vehicles were deployed to the area in support of PSNI and British Army units, who came under fire from petrol bombs, missiles and fireworks.

It was reported that the British forces were using residents’ homes and vehicles as cover while they came under attack. After they were asked to move away, residents were told to “get back indoors”.

The PSNI said the operation was for “public safety” but admitted that “nothing untoward” was found.

Meanwhile, there was intensive searching and raiding of homes in the Strabane area, culminating in a complete saturation of an estate in the Springhill area of the town.

One republican activist was physically assaulted and then arrested in front of his young son by a “heavily charged, power hungry” PSNI man, according to Saoradh.

In a statement published on Tuesday, Derry-based Sinn Fein Assembly member Karen Mullan said the wider nationalist community was becoming “increasingly concerned and frustrated” at some of the tactics being deployed by the PSNI.

She said the party had so far failed to receive any satisfactory answers regarding an incident in August when a 14-year-old child with a learning disability was cable-tied and taken out of a house without his parents present to Strand Road barracks, before being released.

“The treatment of this child was entirely unacceptable and unjustifiable. Sinn Féin has challenged the PSNI leadership over this particular case on a number of occasions and we will continue to do so,” she said.

She also referred to continuing anger over family bank accounts being frozen without any recourse or due process being applied.

“If PSNI tactics are now to pressurise families by cutting off access to wages or benefits then that is entirely wrong and cannot be allowed to continue,” she said.

“It is something we will again be raising at the Policing Board but also referring to the relevant human rights organisations such as the Human Rights Commission.

“Everyone is entitled to fair treatment under the law. Everyone is entitled to due process and an accountable and human-rights compliant policing service.

“Unfortunately, in some of the tactics deployed over recent months, the PSNI has fallen below these standards and that simply isn’t good enough. Human Rights compliant policing should be a basic standard, not an aspiration.”

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