ARA could be key to cracking serious crime: Ford

Alliance Leader David Ford has today put pressure on the Chief Constable to ensure that UDA violence and gangsterism is brought to an end.

Speaking after the meeting at PSNI headquarters, Mr Ford stated:

“For an organisation supposedly on ‘ceasefire’ UDA violence has continued unabated and led to genuine fear in all sections of the community. Today I strongly urged the Chief Constable to do everything in his power to bring this situation to an end.

“The Assets Recovery Agency could well be the key to cracking paramilitary gangsterism as well as other forms of criminality in Northern Ireland, and Alliance strongly supports the work being done in this crucial area.

“The public is fed up with seeing terrorists and gangsters lining their pockets, and we welcome the progress made in this area and look forward to the first convictions.

On the issue of paramilitary flags, Mr Ford said:

“I urged Mr Orde to consolidate the success the PSNI has had in removing terrorist flags in Antrim and Down. This practice should be more widespread, as it is clear that the community wants them removed.

“Alliance also made some suggestions as to how the current legislation might be used more imaginatively to secure convictions, and we were encouraged by his response.”

Mr Ford was part of a delegation that included Deputy Leader Eileen Bell, General Secretary Stephen Farry and Alderman Kieran McCarthy.

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