Police search under attack

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POLICE came under attack from stonethrowers during a search in the Aldervale flats area last week.

The Thomas Harte Cumann of Republican Sinn Fein has hit out at what it described as “heavy-handed tactics employed by the RUC/PSNI in dealing with the nationalist community”.

According to the republican group “there were upwards of 30 heavily armoured vehicles”.

The group claimed properties searched included that of a former republican prisoner while another property belonged to a member of their party.

“The RUC/PSNI then concentrated on the block of flats at the front of Aldervale. They are due for re-development soon so the doors and windows were secured with sheet metal. Around six or seven teams of RUC/PSNI carrying angle grinders, sledge hammers, crowbars and torches smashed their way into the building, searching every property in an operation which lasted approximately four hours.

“As there are four schools nearby, they were all advised to close for the day by the RUC/PSNI, before they back tracked and said it was safe for them to remain open. Why? Well there was a crowd starting to gather nearby who were disgusted at the sheer mass and presence of the RUC/PSNI - sooner or later they would be met with resistance from local republicans.

“The British colonial police did come under attack from stones, bottles and other missiles by dedicated republicans determined to make life as hard as possible, but they were sadly outnumbered - still it did not stop them from showing resistance to British rule in their country.”

A police spokesperson said: “The PSNI have a responsibility to tackle and investigate crime and the vast majority of the community in Craigavon have made it clear that this is what they expect of their Police Service.

“A number of searches were conducted in the Aldervale area in relation to dissident republican activity. Police make no apology for tackling criminality in any form. Police will not be deterred from providing the service the community have asked for and will continue their work with local residents to make the area a safer place for everyone.”