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Policeman ‘helps' republican erect tricolour in Belfast

A policeman uses his foot to secure a ladder for a man erecting a tricolour outside McEnaney's bar in west Belfast on Easter Sunday

A DUP MLA has said the party will be holding discussions with police at the "most senior level" after an officer was photographed securing a ladder for a man erecting a tricolour in west Belfast.

The officer used his foot to keep a ladder in place as the man on it erected a tricolour outside McEnaney's bar, on the Glen Road, during preparations for the main Easter Rising parade in west Belfast on Sunday.

A PSNI superintendent said the officer "quite rightly" intervened to prevent the man erecting the flag "from being hurt" as winds had begun to shake the ladder.

DUP North Belfast MLA William Humphrey condemned the officer's actions and said the party would be "raising this at the most senior level."

Mr Humphrey said: "From the perspective of our party we expect the police to be impartial. We do not believe this was in keeping with how the police should conduct themselves on the ground."

"There was a failure to police parades in Lurgan, Coalisland and west Belfast at the weekend, and particularly when you compare the over policing of the Apprentice Boys parade at Twaddell on Easter Monday."

Mr Humphrey said he believed the officer who intervened should now be disciplined.

Superintendent Paula Hilman said: "The weather conditions were blustery and an officer on duty at the Glen Road observed that a ladder which was positioned against a building was starting to move in the wind.

"The officer quite rightly put his foot against the bottom rung of the ladder to steady it and prevent the man using the ladder from being hurt."

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