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Campbell – “Police must clarify Greysteel absence”

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BT Coleraine

East Londonderry DUP MP Gregory Campbell has called on the Police to clarify what occurred at Greysteel on the evening of the 13th July as buses carrying Orange members and supporters were attacked on their return to Londonderry from the Twelfth demonstration in Coleraine.

Speaking immediately after the event Mr. Campbell said

“The main road between Coleraine and Londonderry at Greysteel is used by a small number of young people who attack buses ferrying people back from Orange 12th demonstrations, this has been happening over a period of years. It has been the practice in recent years for a Police presence to be maintained for the short time when the buses pass through the village. That action tended to ensure attacks were less likely. It appears that this did not happen yesterday. I was returning from Coleraine just before 5.30 pm and noticed that no Police officers appeared to be in the vicinity (where they are usually deployed), I immediately rang a senior Police Officer who said my information would be passed on. I stressed that I was concerned as I saw a number of teenagers close to where the buses would pass and there appeared to be no Police presence.

From information supplied to me by bus passengers it appears that within minutes of this happening an attack occurred on one bus, and around fifteen minutes later a second attack occurred, this time on an empty bus returning after having left passengers back from the 12th demonstration. Let’s be very clear, it was the young people who were responsible for throwing the stones and causing the violence however the police need to explain their tactical approach to dealing with the issue.

I have been in touch with senior Police commanders as urgent public clarification is required. Stone throwing at a bus with dozens of passengers could result in serious injury, Police and local representatives in the area need to act to ensure that this is the last time Orange culture is attacked, it’s not just Orange feet being unacceptable but even Orangemen and women sitting in a bus seems to be unacceptable to some in Greysteel.”

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