Lo welcomes positive Police approach over flags

Alliance South Belfast MLA, Anna Lo, has welcomed the commitment by the PSNI to take a new approach to the flying of flags on lampposts in the Ballynafeigh area of South Belfast. The PSNI have indicated that they will treat any future flags that are put up on lampposts as a breach of the peace.

Anna Lo MLA said: “I welcome this positive approach that is being taken by the PSNI. I am deeply concerned by the proliferation of flags in the area and do not wish to see them used as a means of intimidation and to mark out territory. The opposition to flags in this area backs up the findings of the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey which stated that 75% of people were opposed to flags on lampposts in their neighbourhood.

“This action will send out a strong message to those who wish to use flags to intimate people in the local community. However, it will not deal with the flags that are already on lampposts. I hope that the Police will seek to remove flags where the community so desires. I would also question why the Police have not taken this position before. This issue has shown that the flags protocol is not working and must be urgently updated.

“Residents in the Ballynafeigh area will be pleased that the Police have listened to their concerns, but the PSNI should be taking a similar approach in other areas where the local community wishes to see action. They should be taking action in all communities and not just in those areas perceived as being mixed.”

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