Comments raise more questions about SF interference in operational policing

The DUP's lead representative on the Policing Board Trevor Clarke MLA has said today’s statement by Michelle O'Neill raises more questions about the extent of Sinn Fein’s interference in operational policing.

By Trevor Clarke MLA

South Antrim

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Commenting, Trevor Clarke said,

"After weeks of silence, Michelle O'Neill has denied that Sinn Fein threatened to withdraw support for policing over the PSNI operation on the Ormeau Road in February 2021. This account, however, is at odds with the account of senior members of the PSNI. The complete picture and the facts must be established.

The ruling by Mr Justice Scoffield refers to minutes of a PSNI meeting in which the Deputy Chief Constable Mark Hamilton advised:

'there was pressure emerging from the Deputy First Minister in regard to the status of the officers involved and that there were suggestions of grave consequences for republican support for policing.'

Did Michelle O’Neill press for disciplinary action against the two officers involved?

Ultimately, Sinn Fein need to explain why high-ranking members of the Police Service believed Michelle O’Neill’s representations amounted to an ultimatum in respect of ongoing support for policing.

We will not be stopping until the full detail of this sorry episode is laid out clearly for the public to see who said what and when."

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