DUP councillors to meet police chiefs

LONDONDERRY'S DUP councillors are to meet the city's top police officers on Friday amid fears of growing attacks on Protestant homes and property.

Councillor Joe Miller said yesterday that he and his colleagues - Gregory Campbell, Maurice Devenney, William Hay and Drew Thompson - will meet with Chief Superintendent Stephen Martin and Chief Inspector Chris Yates.

Following the Real IRA’s car bomb attack on Strand Road police station in the early hours of Tuesday, the threat posed by dissident republicans will also feature in the discussions.

The meeting comes against a backdrop of an apparent upsurge in sectarian attacks against Protestant areas of the city, though general policing issues will also be on the agenda. In particular there are concerns that more attacks are being orchestrated in the run-up to the Apprentice Boys parade on August 14.

In recent weeks, an elderly couple’s home in the Irish Street area has been targeted by petrol bombers, while there have also been attacks on homes and cars in the Tullyally area, and there have been ongoing attacks on the Fountain.

At the Apprentice Boys’ Memorial Hall, the statue of Governor Walker was also wrecked in what is believed to have been a sectarian attack last week.

Mr Miller said the meeting was arranged prior to this week’s bomb attack.

He added: “There has been a series of incidents and we also want to discuss policing in general, as well as the dissident threat. We want to ensure that the police are about and that the trouble doesn’t escalate as we lead up to the parade.”

Mr Miller also urged the wider community to back the police, including by giving information about sectarian and terrorist incidents.