Londonderry MLA William Hay says the PSNI needs to be mindful of the needs of the Protestant, unionist and loyalist (PUL) community in the city, which whilst still supportive of the police, shouldn’t be regarded as a mere cat in the bag.
The DUP MLA made the comments after what he described as a positive meeting with newly incumbent Chief Constable George Hamilton, on Thursday (July 10).
Mr Hay praised the ‘excellent’ policing team in the city but said there was a danger of complacency when it came to policing the PUL community.
“I met with the Chief Constable with a number of other people for about an hour and we had a good discussion,” said Mr Hay. “The issue of the PUL community was raised. I think there can sometimes be an impression that because the Protestant community has always been supportive of the police it’s a community that can be forgotten about.”
He added: “That is only an impression but there is a danger of complacency there. We want to make sure concerns are addressed and I’m very confident that will happen with the policing team we have in the city and having met the new Chief Constable.”
Mr Hay said Londonderry’s much vaunted approach to parades was also raised. He said: “A lot of work has taken place over the past number of years to get to where we are.
“Lines of communication are kept open throughout the year. It’s not perfect and it’s not something that can be taken for granted but it’s working for us here.
“To me it’s a process that works for us in Londonderry rather than a model that can be applied elsewhere.”