"Leave politics and religion out of policing", Robertson tells Stormont parties

Northern Ireland Conservatives spokesman, Julian Robertson, has urged politicians at Stormont to leave politicking and religion out of policing.

“Understandably the strong police response to riots in England has drawn unfavourable comparison with the relatively few convictions which have followed violence in Northern Ireland.  In particular members of the justice committee at the Assembly and political members of the policing board have levelled criticism at the PSNI.”

“It’s clearly important that as many rioters as possible feel the full force of the law, but the ironic thing is that political pressure from the parties at Stormont often does very little to help the police, as they attempt to do their job.  The same parties who demand action from the PSNI when trouble is caused by people they don’t consider part of their “community” are quick to complain about heavy handed or insensitive policing when the boot is on the other foot.”

“They should stop playing divisive political games with policing and start to give consistent support for strong action against rioters, irrespective of their perceived religious background.  Only in Northern Ireland is the police response to thuggery subject to sectarian audits.”    

“The parties at Stormont need to leave the politicking and the religious headcounts out of policing.  Get behind the PSNI and give it the genuine support which will help its efforts to keep Northern Ireland safe and peaceful.”