ALL POLITICIANS NEED TO SUPPORT PSNI, SAY UUP LEADERSHIP

UUP leader Mike Nesbitt met Matt Baggott today

THE Ulster Unionist Party has called for all politicians to support the PSNI in their fight against terrorism.

And it says the PSNI needs extra funding to fight the threat of dissident republican violence.

Earlier today, a party delegation met Chief Constable Matt Baggott at PSNI headquarters in east Belfast to discuss the dangerous threat currently posed by dissident republican terrorism.

UUP leader Mike Nesbitt led the delegation and was accompanied by former party leader and member of the Stormont Justice Committee Tom Elliott and Policing Board member Ross Hussey MLA.

After their meeting, Mr Nesbitt said: “While the Chief Constable briefed to the effect that the PSNI is dealing with the current terrorist threat, it is clear that threat has reached a new, more dangerous level in recent weeks, not least with the apparent amalgamation of some of the smaller republican groups.

“The PSNI’s ability to deal with this threat is largely dependent on £245 million of additional funding out of Westminster, but that funding is time limited, and will run out at the end of the 2014/2015 financial year. It is unlikely the threat will have gone away by then.

“It is therefore essential that the funding which is currently bolted-on, is embedded in the PSNI budget for the longer term, as all intelligence suggests those psychopaths who murdered David Black on the M1 at the beginning of November, will try again.

“We also discussed how legacy issues regarding the Troubles are impacting on the PSNI’s ability to police contemporaneous criminality.

“It is clear that legacy issues stretch resources badly. Furthermore, the determination of some to try to re-write history by portraying the security forces as the villains is undermining confidence. The Ulster Unionist Party stands full-square in support of the police.”

Tom Elliott added: “While all political representatives are publically condemning the terrorist activity, I have concerns that in private republicans are not giving their full support to law and order and policing in Northern Ireland.

“We must all give total support to policing and allow the Chief Constable to carry out his operational role without political interference.”

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