Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Time for 'impotent' police force to take charge

I REFER to your editorial 'Brave officers in no-win situation' (June 23). Of course, it's going to be a no-win situation when the PSNI don't make any real effort to defend people's lives and property, or attempt to apprehend, or stop, the rioters.

You were never going to win the support of these thugs by taking firm action against them, but you would have won the overwhelming support of the majority of right-thinking people who wanted to see a police force they could be proud of. Ordinary law-abiding people wanted to see at least an attempt being made to restore calm.

What we saw was an impotent police force that watches and takes photographs for a later date.

Ordinary PSNI constables, who were allowed to be mocked and abused while sitting in their Land Rovers, have been badly let down by the non-confrontational tactics of their superior officers.

This boils down to the people at the top of the PSNI being afraid to make decisions in case it is the 'wrong' decision in the eyes of the Police Ombudsman. So they do nothing and leave pensioners and young families to their fate.

Two nights of heavy rioting, with 400-500 people taking part, and how many were arrested? At last count it was three - all well after the event. How many plastic bullets were fired over both nights? About 60. What a pathetic response. If similar rioting had taken place in front of Buckingham Palace, it would no doubt have been quite a different story.

TJ McCLEAN

Belfast

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