31/01/2019

PSNI Must Do More To Tackle East Belfast UVF- Gerry Kelly

A Sinn Fein delegation has met with senior members of the PSNI in relation to the murder of east Belfast man Ian Ogle and "ongoing UVF criminality" in the area.

It follows the brutal murder of a community worker on Sunday night, 27 January, at the entrance to Cluan Place in the east of the city.

Ian Ogle was set upon by a gang of men while talking to a friend, and was reportedly stabbed to death.

Detectives investigating the murder arrested a 49-year-old man on Wednesday. He was later released on bail pending further enquiries. Two men, aged 31 and 45, and two women, aged 35 and 36, arrested in connection with the murder were released on Tuesday.

The victim's daughter spoke out earlier this week to say her family had been living under threat from the UVF for 18 months, however the organisation has denied being behind the murder.

The Sinn Fein delegation, including the party's Policing Spokesperson Gerry Kelly MLA and Councillors JJ Magee and Claire Canavan met with senior PSNI officials, including the head of the Paramilitary Crime Task Force, and called for protection measures for the rest of the man's family.
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Speaking afterwards, the north Belfast MLA said: "The PSNI must do all in its power to wind up the UVF and other armed gangs, which have been involved in murder, pipe bombings, intimidation, arson, drug dealing and extortion over recent years. 

"We were told by police that the activities of the East Belfast UVF is one of a number of priority investigations for the Paramilitary Crime Task Force.

"The murder of Ian Ogle is the latest in a line of attacks carried out by loyalist paramilitaries. 

"That is wrong. It is unacceptable."

Mr Kelly added that he advocated for the PSNI to do more to tackle these gangs and other armed groups.

"There is also a huge responsibility on political leadership to challenge the very existence of these paramilitary groups more than 20 years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement," he continued.

"These organisations are a scourge on many communities. The violence, intimidation, extortion and drug dealing they are involved in needs to be confronted and condemned at every turn.

"The leaderships of political unionism should be unequivocal in calling for the UVF and other paramilitary groups to disband immediately."



(JG/CM)

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