15/07/2019

Threatening Graffiti 'Not The Responsibility' Of The PSNI

Police have said the removal of threatening graffiti related to those tasked with dismantling an east Belfast bonfire is the responsibility of the property owners.

It comes after Belfast City Council abandoned plans to demolish the construction on the site of Avoniel Leisure Centre when hired contractors pulled out of the job. Intimidating threats had earlier been daubed on walls close to the site, purporting to identify the contractors.

The PSNI has said removing the graffiti is not a function for the police.
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Assistant Chief Constable Alan Todd said: "The Chief Constable is on record publicly stating that the intimidation of contractors and the impact this will have had on them and their families must not be tolerated. A thorough police investigation is now underway to identify those responsible and seek to bring them before the courts.

"The removal of graffiti is the responsibility of the property owner assisted by any other relevant agency. It is not a function for, or the responsibility of the police service.

"Officers are in ongoing liaison with the property owners and with Belfast City Council in an attempt to ensure the removal of the offending graffiti at the earliest opportunity.

"As a police service we have been clear in our position that we will support other agencies to carry out their statutory functions in the removal of this graffiti and we are ready to do so in order to address any community safety issues and to ensure that there is no breach of the peace."

PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne condemned the threats in a press conference last week, branding them "unacceptable" and a "form of bullying".



(JG)

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