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On foot of questioning from DUP North Antrim MLA Mervyn Storey at the Northern Ireland Policing Board, the Chief Constable has confirmed that the PSNI’s Gold Operating Centre has been stood up in response to growing community discontent with the Protocol.

Commenting, Mr Storey said:

‘‘The decision to implement the Northern Ireland Protocol without any support in the unionist community has led to rising public frustration. All concerns should be taken forward peacefully and through the democratic process.

The Chief Constable has acknowledged that there is now a ‘febrile atmosphere’ and at least 26 graffiti attacks have been recorded. In response, senior officers have made the decision to adopt heightened measures to help coordinate the police response.

The Government must realise that the continued operation of the Protocol has upset the delicate balance of community relations.

The Prime Minister must put his words into action and use all means at his disposal including Article 16 and act immediately to restore Northern Ireland’s place in the UK internal market.’’