12 January 2006 Edition

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PSNI colludes in threat to students

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Policing Gerry Kelly accused the PSNI of colluding with loyalists in the BIFHE complex at Tower Street in Belfast after two men threatening Catholic students with knives were not arrested by PSNI members at the scene.

Kelly said: "Yesterday three Catholic students at the BIFHE complex on Tower Street were victims of sectarian abuse while standing outside the main building. The three students fearful for their safety returned to the canteen in the main complex.

"The two men who had previously abused the students outside the building then followed the three into the canteen and produced knives. They again hurled sectarian abuse at the students and threatened them with the knives. The three were obviously extremely fearful and sought help from the security staff on duty. The security guard did not assist the students. The PSNI were contacted and arrived at the scene. The two men were still present and still carrying knives.

"The PSNI did not arrest the men and choose instead to simply ask them to leave the canteen.

The PSNI colluded with loyalist thugs, carrying knives and threatening students attending a local college. This is unacceptable and not the actions of an acceptable or accountable policing service."

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Michael Ferguson said that he was seeking urgent talks with the management of BIFHE about it response to this very serious incident.


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