PSNI drops probe into 'F*** the DUP' displays at Belfast abortion rally

Abortion activists in Belfast last month with T-shirts spelling out 'F*** the DUP'
Brendan Hughes

THE PSNI has dropped a probe into 'F*** the DUP' displays used at an abortion rally in Belfast.

But a woman who held a similar anti-DUP placard some months earlier at a gay pride march in the city is still facing possible prosecution.

Last month, several 'Rally for Choice' demonstrators adopted the slogan on clothing and placards in solidarity with Ellie Evans (24) after she was questioned by police.

At the time police said they were examining the displays at the rally, but they have now confirmed "no further police action" will be taken.

PSNI inspector David Gibson said organisers were spoken to during the rally and a placard was removed.

"Police were grateful for the co-operation shown by the organisers and no further police action was deemed necessary," he said.

When Ms Evans carried a 'F*** the DUP' placard at Belfast Pride in August, it was confiscated by event organisers who feared it breached Parades Commission rules.

Police received a complaint from DUP MLA Jim Wells, and Ms Evans was interviewed by officers.

The PSNI has since sent a file to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS).

Last month Ms Evans said police told her she was questioned over an alleged public order offence and claims of "inciting hate".

She has described the investigation as "ridiculous" and a waste of police resources.

But Mr Wells has welcomed the probe, saying people who voted DUP "have a right to be respected".

Asked why there appeared to be differing police responses to the anti-DUP slogan, a PSNI spokeswoman said: "An official complaint was made to police regarding the placard at the Pride event.

"Police have a duty to investigate all complaints made.

"An operational decision was taken at a later event to remove a placard which police deemed could be offensive."

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