Last Thursday night [October 7] at roughly 8pm a woman in the Carnaget area of Newry suffered a terrifying ordeal when she was tied up and robbed at gunpoint in her own home. This disgraceful attack has angered the local community and the criminals who carried it out have no place in this society.
The PSNI response time to this incident has been brought into question, with claims being made that the political police refused to enter the area. The PSNI responded by saying that “there are people in the community who are determined to kill and injure our officers, we must approach some calls with caution. Police will assess the situation and will then seek to take the right action to keep both the community and our officers safe.”
éirígí can reveal that, at 7.45pm, a mere 15 minutes before this incident, a PSNI patrol was situated a few hundred yards away in the Derrybeg estate in an armoured landrover. This patrol spent their time antagonising local youths outside a community facility by flashing their lights, sounding horns and waving at them in an attempt to provoke a riot situation just as they did less than a fortnight ago. So, whilst the PSNI were in Derrybeg teasing youngsters, a woman was being robbed and held at gunpoint a few hundred yards away.
The previous night [Wednesday, October 6] a large foot-patrol of up to 12 PSNI members armed with assault rifles patrolled the Derrybeg estate backed up with at least two armoured landrovers. As they walked through the area they shone torches attached to their guns into residents’ living rooms and gardens.
A spokesperson for éirígí in Newry said: “The issue at hand isn’t, as some local political representatives have claimed, that the PSNI is treating nationalist areas of Newry as ‘no go areas’. The issue is that the PSNI isn’t interested in tackling anti-social behaviour and crime, the priority for the political police is to keep areas like nationalist Newry in line, not protect them.
“Not so long ago, when others were opportunistically claiming that nationalist communities needed the PSNI to tackle anti-social behaviour, éirígí argued that lending support to the PSNI would not result in any decrease in instances of crime. This has been proven to be the case.
“The PSNI is a sectarian paramilitary police force whose role remains the protection of the British occupation in Ireland. They should be opposed as such.”