Alliance Party Justice Spokesperson, Stephen Farry, has condemned the riots in Portadown and Ardoyne and called for full community support for the police in policing such difficult situations.
Dr Farry commented:
“Alliance unreservedly condemns the rioters in Portadown and Ardoyne over the past two nights. It is disgraceful that so many police officers were injured, with several coming very close to losing their lives.”
“It may be self-evident to say that rioters are to blame for the riots. However, there are politicians on both sides who are being disingenuous in trying to suggest that the police are responsible for these riots.”
“Every individual in this society should be held responsible for their actions. All those who engage in violence do so out of their own free-will. Indeed, the level of missiles thrown at the police indicate substantial preparation.”
“The police are placed in an impossible position in trying to control a deeply divided society, especially when there is now a ‘have a go at the police’ attitude on both sides. They deserve and should have the full support of the community.”
“The continued tensions on the streets of Northern Ireland from low-intensity violence show the importance of ending the current uncertainty over the future of the police. We now have the basis of an accountable and representative police service in place. It is time for all parties to indicate their intention to sit on the Policing Board, and to avoid foolish gestures that compromise the operational ability and safety of the police in upholding the rule of law.”