DUP man condemns ‘faceless cowards’

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DUP Mid Ulster MLA and Policing Board member Keith Buchanan has condemned republicans who have issued threats and tried to intimidate contractors used by the police for car recovery.

Mr Buchanan urged the Sinn Fein leadership to issue a clear statement that there should be no “no-go” areas for the police or their contractors.

He said in a statement: “These contractors work hard to provide a service and jobs. The intimidation of honest, hard working men and women is completely wrong and must be condemned.

“This is 2019 there should be no ‘no-go’ areas in Northern Ireland. This terrorist activity should have left the stage long ago.

If these companies cannot carry out their work then the police and courts would not be able to uphold law and order as they retrieve serious crime evidence.

“These republican terrorists want nothing more than to drag Northern Ireland back to the dark days. They will not succeed.

“They are faceless cowards who do nothing but bring chaos and destruction to communities.

“It will take collective and strong leadership from all parties, not least Sinn Fein to stand together in condemnation of these latest actions.

“Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O’Neill should give leadership and condemn those who are trying to create ‘no-go’ areas for the police. The police should be free to go everywhere in Northern Ireland.”

Dissident republicans are believed to have made threats against a number of vehicle recovery firms which carry out work for the police.

Two firms involved in work for the PSNI were targeted by arson in recent weeks.

PSNI ACC Alan Todd said “several” vehicles had been damaged in the arson attacks and he described the latest threats as “vile and reprehensible”.

It is understood the threats have been issued by the paramilitary group known as the New IRA.