Belfast Telegraph

PSNI brand dissident republican group 'drug dealers' after it encourages attacks on police

Police have branded a dissident republican group 'drug dealers' after it said Catholics who become police officers would "never be safe".

It was revealed earlier this week that Catholic police officers in Northern Ireland are not sent to their home communities due to the threat from dissident republican terrorists.

Two Catholic PSNI constables, Stephen Carroll and Ronan Kerr, have been killed by dissidents - while a third, Paedar Heffron, was maimed in a car bombing.

The Newry branch of dissident republican group Saoradh posted on Facebook that Catholics that join the PSNI are "the enemy" and become "strangers and outsiders".

"They will never again be welcome or safe in the community they were once part of and rightly so," they wrote.

In response a PSNI spokesperson said Saoradh consider police the enemy because "why would they want their drug runners arrested".

"Why would they want vulnerable people protected when they can exploit them and push them into violence which, after all, they have stated is "right" against us? Why would they want violent offenders and domestic abusers arrested when it would just decimate their numbers?" a PSNI spokesperson wrote on the PSNI Craigavon Facebook page.

The PSNI spokesperson outlined the ways in which police had been working to help the Craigavon community in recent weeks.

"It's a really clear choice - you can stand with these groups, who offer nothing but to drag us back, or you can move along with the other 99% of the community," the spokesperson said.

"You can work with us to combat drug dealing, burglary, scams and exploitation of the elderly, child abuse, drink driving, domestic abuse, mental health concerns and the rest of it.

"Don't listen to their drivel. Don't listen to their lies. Occasionally they let the mask slip like they have done here, and you see them for exactly what they are."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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