PSNI search applauded by MLAs

Gregory Campbell and Gary Middleton.  INLS 1911-517MT.

Gregory Campbell and Gary Middleton. INLS 1911-517MT.

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Two DUP MLAs have welcomed the police operation to find explosives in Londonderry.

In a joint statement Foyle DUP MLA, Gary Middleton and East Londonderry MLA, Gregory Campbell said they welcomed police action in Londonderry in which searches were carried out to find munitions or explosives.

They also said criticism by Gerry Kelly was “illogical” and “ill-considered”.

“Only last week I met with the Deputy Chief Constable and his team including Chief Inspector Callaghan to discuss the weak and ineffective policing operation at Peggy O’Hara’s funeral when there were masked men and women parading for almost two mile through the city,” said Mr Middleton.

“I felt the police took a kid-glove approach to the INLA event. The community in Londonderry wants to have no truck with paramilitaries regardless of their label.

“I want to see the police taking a robust stance against those who would peddle terror on our streets. Most people will welcome this latest operation and trust that arrests and convictions will follow.”

Meanwhile, Mr Campbell said: “Gerry Kelly has criticised the police for using Army personnel in their raids on Wednesday. This criticism is illogical and ill-considered.

“Last October I received a Parliamentary answer detailing that military personnel had been deployed in the North West some 168 times over a five month period.

“I used the statistics to point out that there was merit in the MoD having an Army Technical Unit located in Londonderry on a full-time basis.

“Gerry Kelly should cease his faux rage at the soldiers being deployed in Londonderry and instead focus on the reason why there needed to be such a police operation in the first place.”