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DUP Leader Arlene Foster MLA led a delegation to meet the Chief Constable on Monday afternoon. Junior Minister Gary Middleton and Policing Board members Mervyn Storey, Joanne Bunting, Trevor Clarke and Tom Buchanan also attended the meeting.

Speaking afterwards Mrs. Foster said,

“We need fair and impartial policing, free from political influence. Decisions should be based on the law and not politics. Due process should be the trademark of the police. The swift response by the Chief Constable has all the hallmarks of trial by social media and of two young officers being scapegoated. This will inevitably cause alarm among those starting their career in the police.

We have met the Chief Constable and articulated our serious concerns as to the damage of these decisions and told him we want to be furnished with the facts. The matter has been referred to the Police Ombudsman. Decisions about the matter should have been made at the completion of that investigation.

Given the antics of Sinn Fein at the Storey funeral and their disregard for Covid-19 rules, their criticism of the police rings utterly hollow.

The anniversaries of atrocities at Kingsmills and Teebane were marked respectfully and lawfully. There is a duty on all organisers to act in compliance with the law. While we understand the need for a proportionate and sensitive policing response, operational decisions must be fair and balanced. There should be no apology for enforcing the rule of law.”