A DUP MLA says that he is ‘less that impressed’ that local police have failed to bring anyone before the courts for hate crimes in the Coleraine area.
There have been a total of 24 crimes in the past 18 months, one of the homes targeted was that of Coleraine Mayor, George Duddy.
Mr Duddy was one of four DUP representatives who met the local PSNI commander earlier this month. Speaking after the meeting, DUP MLA Adrian McQuillan said that the crimes are a ‘serious issue’ but added that he gets the impression that there is a ‘lack of interest’ by local officers in catching those responsible.
We were shown CCTV footage of a flag being removed from a house in Windyhall. I was under the impression that this footage was being sent to a specialist to be enhanced. I am now being told that there will be no prosecution.
“I know that many people may say that this is just the matter of a flag being pulled down from a house, but there have also been properties and cars damaged. The victims of these crimes have been left hanging, they need closure. If someone was brought before the courts it would send out a clear signal that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated in the Coleraine area, and it would give the people of Coleraine some confidence in our police force.”
In a statement to The Times this week, Chief Superintendent Raymond Murray said: “Coleraine police are committed to keeping people safe and detecting offenders. In the case referred to by Mr McQuillan, a file was sent to the Public Prosecution Service. Their decision was not to prosecute on the matter. I understand that hate crime has a psychological and emotional effect on victims and wider communities.”
The commander went on: “I would encourage communities to continue to support our investigations and have confidence in our approach. I ask that people continue to engage with police and report concerns or suspicious activity to us. We need this information to support arrests and bring offenders before the courts.”