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DUP MP Carla Lockhart has questioned the approach of the PSNI to investigating alleged COVID-19 regulation breaches, in light of the speed at which action is being taken towards members of Tandragee Baptist Church compared to those attending the Bobby Storey funeral. The Pastor of the church is a constituent of Upper Bann.

Carla Lockhart said:

“When anyone considers the approach the PSNI is taking to the alleged COVID-19 breaches at Tandragee Baptist Church or Helen’s Bay or Belfast City Hall in comparison to the Bobby Storey funeral, they will be shocked at the double standards.

The Chief Constable has openly admitted that the threat of public violence and disorder dictated the policing response to the Storey funeral. It is humiliating that the enforcers of law and order in Northern Ireland should bow to such a threat. It simply emboldens the arrogant attitude of those who organised the Storey funeral.

Violence or no violence, no one acts outside the law or else we would have a society of anarchy.

Against such a background, those gathering for private prayer at Tandragee Baptist Church were subjected to a police visit and a speedy investigation into alleged breaches.

The law is the law. Everyone must be equally subject to the law but it would seem that not everyone is equal under the law in Northern Ireland. Those who carry with them the threat of violence get seven months to think about their actions whilst everyone else is marched to the nearest police station without discussion.

Our Policing Board members have been holding the Chief Constable and his team to account for this. The Chief Constable would do well to listen to the concerns being raised by our team because confidence in the police is fast becoming the most critical casualty of all of this.

Many are now watching with interest to see the outcomes of these investigations. If it is the case that only easy targets are subjected to PSNI action, then the police leadership will have seriously damaged their credibility in the eyes of law-abiding people.”