PCTF deployment ‘fully warranted’ - tense police meeting with loyalists in Manor Hotel, Ballymoney

PCTF deployment ‘fully warranted’ - tense police and loyalists meeting at Manor Hotel

The Paramilitary Crime Task Force's Superintendent Ian Saunders, gives a presentation in the Manor hotel.

Alan Millar

Reporter:

Alan Millar

Email:

ballymoney.news@thechronicle.uk.com

LAST week's PCSP meeting in the Manor Hotel, Ballymoney, ended with high drama, as a community worker left a roll of banknotes on the Chairman's podium, claiming it had been used by police as an attempted bribe.

The Causeway Coast and Glens Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), had organised the public meeting to allow police chiefs an opportunity to explain their role, and to answer questions.

In the heated meeting, made tense by concerns about the size of the police presence and video filming, numerous issues were raised in relation to the PSNI crackdown on North Antrim UDA.

CC&G District Commander, Superintendent Ian Magee told the 50 people present that the decision to deploy the Paramilitary Crime Task Force (PCTF) was, “a decision fully warranted.”

The PCTF's Superintendent Ian Saunders said, “these groups have balaclavas and ranks but they are just criminals, that's all.”

However, during questions, many individuals, community representatives and unionist politicians wanted to know, why, after so many arrests, had so few people have been charged, and so little drugs seized.

Ballymoney based AIMS project restorative practitioner, Leanne Abernethy said, “people are frustrated, PCTF are linking drugs with paramilitarism and not finding drugs.”

*For full story see this week's Chronicle, in shops now*

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