Belfast Telegraph

Undermining of police by politicians must end, says Police Federation

By Adrian Rutherford

Politicians have been told to stop interfering in policing by a senior PSNI representative, who claims parading disputes are being fuelled by "unhelpful" statements.

Mark Lindsay, who chairs the Police Federation, urged MLAs to be aware of the consequences of what they say.

He said attempting to pick battles with the PSNI was undermining policing in Northern Ireland.

His comments come on the eve of the marching season, which in recent years has seen simmering tensions boil over.

Earlier this year some unionists accused the PSNI of two-tier policing after officers used CS spray in an incident on the Ormeau Road in Belfast.

Mr Lindsay, whose organisation represents rank-and-file officers, says such comments are not helpful.

"Recently we saw comments made surrounding the incident on the Ormeau Road. Everyone is entitled to a view, but around that time there were comments which were unhelpful towards policing," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"While I appreciate it was coming up to an election, I think politicians need to be aware that there are statutory routes - through the Ombudsman or the Policing Board - where issues around policing can be raised and properly addressed.

"It does no one any good to pick, if you like, public and political battles with police officers who are simply trying to do their jobs. That can be seen to undermine policing."

Mr Lindsay has chaired the Police Federation since February 2015.

Before that he was a front line officer.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph