SF: PSNI border U-turn unacceptable

Castlederg, with its disused PSNI station in the middle distance.
Castlederg, with its disused PSNI station in the middle distance.

A Derry City & Strabane District councillor has described as “totally unacceptable” the PSNI’s decision to pause the sale of three border stations as a precautionary measure in case they are needed to police the frontier after Brexit.

Sinn Féin councillor Ruairí McHugh reacted angrily to the revelation by Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin that an abandoned station in Castlederg may not now be sold.

The ex-Derry District Commander, who is now in charge of the PSNI’s Crime Operations Department, said: “The PSNI has a responsibility to keep people safe and we constantly review our resources to ensure that we are best equipped to do this. In light of the UK Referendum vote to leave the EU, we are reviewing decisions we previously made about some of our stations identified for disposal.

“Accordingly, it is our intention to pause the disposal of three stations in border areas, namely Warrenpoint, Castlederg and Aughnacloy.

“As the PSNI has not yet received details regarding potential border arrangements, this is a precautionary step to ensure that, whatever Brexit looks like in the future, we will be able to continue to keep our communities safe.”

Colr. McHugh, who represents the Derg District Electoral Area, said the “re-commissioning” of stations would be “totally unacceptable both at a local and wider political level”.

“The heavily militarised Castlederg PSNI station remains a blot on the landscape and the vast majority of people of this area were delighted to see its closure and very much looking forward to this massive site in the centre of the town to being positively utilised for the economic and social regeneration of the area,” he said.