McLean demands ‘equality policing’ on parading

THERE is rising dissatisfaction of policing in Unionist circles over the handling of marches, according to the DUP chairman of Magherafelt District Council.

Councillor Paul McLean said during the marching season he and other unionist councillors have various complaints from organisations and constituents as to the manner in which the PSNI dealt with parades.

“It has become very apparent that because the Loyal Orders and bands are law abiding citizens that senior ranks within the PSNI treat us as a ‘soft touch’,” he said. “While on the other hand, republican parades, GAA matches and Fleadhs, which are organised within the nationalist communty, seem to have a free hand and do what they like.”

Councillor McLean emphasised that Unionists did not want to flaunt the law.

“All we ask is for equality policing which is not happening at present,” he added.

He said that he and DUP Assemblyman for Mid-Ulster Ian McCrea had requested an urgent meeting with Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin to discuss their concerns.

A police spokesperson said that the District Commander is aware of the issues raised and is due to meet with them.