Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Probe Easter republican parade incidents, Gregory Campbell demands

Gregory Campbell
Gregory Campbell

DUP MP Gregory Campbell has called on the PSNI to fully investigate a number of republican parades held over Easter.

The East Londonderry representative said it was vital that police achieve results from their probes into incidents in Belfast and Derry.

His comments came after shots were fired during an Easter Rising commemoration in Belfast at the weekend.

A man was filmed firing shots into the air during a republican rally in north Belfast on Saturday.

Meanwhile in Derry, children and teenagers attacked police outside the City Cemetery just before the annual 32 County Sovereignty Movement Easter rally got under way on Monday.

Children as young as seven were caught up in the violence that saw bricks, stones and bottles thrown at officers.

Police said the attack by young children was a damning indictment on the organisers and the hundreds of adults who turned out for the event.

Speaking during the rally, the 32 CSM national chairman Francie Mackey had claimed there was a massive disparity in the policing response of loyalist and republican protests and events.

"Three months of protests have crippled Belfast and the police have escorted them across the streets of that city.

"Political policing has not gone away you know," he said.

Mr Campbell took the opposite view and said the PSNI had to be seen to be acting impartially.

He said: "... it is essential that follow-up police work is seen to produce results in the form of prosecutions for those engaged in this activity. Given the degree of law enforcement that took place over several months during what was known as the loyalist flag protests, even though many of those were peaceful, it is vital that the rule of law is seen to be upheld impartially."

A PSNI spokesman replied to Mr Campbell's concerns yesterday. He said: "Police enquiries have begun into a number of incidents over the Easter period.

"PSNI investigate all reports of criminal activity with impartiality and where it is found that the law has been broken, the PSNI will gather evidence in order to bring those responsible before the courts."

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