18 August 2005 Edition
PSNI not serious about unionist violence
Sinn Féin has accused the PSNI of not even pretending that they are serious about dealing with ongoing unionist paramilitary violence in Belfast.
Councillor Tom Hartley was speaking after the PSNI left behind valuable evidence after a loyalist pipe-bomb attack on a house in the Beechmount area of West Belfast on Friday 12 August.
The bomb attack on the house of a republican led to the PSNI calling a British Army bomb disposal team who carried out a controlled explosion on the device.
Hartley said that after the controlled explosion the PSNI failed to conduct a proper forensic examination of the scene. "Local people collected pieces of this loyalist device long after the PSNI had left the scene."
Hartley said that much is heard in the media from PSNI Chief Hugh Orde, and those politicians who offer his force blind support, about the professional nature of the organisation but that the reality on the ground in recent days painted a very different picture. "Such was the woeful effort put into this by the PSNI that they did not even bother to collect pieces of the pipe bomb which were scattered around the street. They are not even pretending to be serious about dealing with unionist paramilitary violence in the city. What other possible explanation for this failure to collect the most basic pieces of evidence could there be?"