Alliance East Antrim MLA Sean Neeson has accused the SDLP of “outrageous arrogance”, following that party’s suggestion that Whitehead PSNI Station should be closed.
Mr Neeson said: “It is up to local people to make representations about Whitehead police station, not a political party which has very limited support in the area.”
“To further suggest the disarming of the police at a time when East Antrim has been a hotbed of loyalist violence in recent years is bordering on lunacy. One must question the motivation behind such proposals and one can only conclude that the SDLP are looking over their shoulders at their political rivals in SF.”
Mr Neeson said that SDLP Policing Board member Alex Attwood’s recent comments, expressing his lack of concern that the 50-50 rule did not apply to part-time officers, was revealing.
Mr Neeson said: “The SDLP have let the cat out of the bag by this admission. If Alex Attwood is not concerned about the lack of a 50:50 quota for part-time officers, I challenge him to now join with me in calling for the abolition of the quota for regular officers, traffic wardens and civilian posts too.”
“Quotas are clearly not as important to the SDLP as they have said in the past. If Mr Attwood is serious about getting police numbers up to the level recommended by Patten, he must recognise the fact that rigid quotas are preventing, not helping, this from happening.”