Northern Ireland news

'Disturbing' graffiti threats to border control staff investigated by police

Graffiti in Larne

GRAFFITI threats to border control staff in Larne warning they are "targets" is being probed by police.

The PSNI confirmed they were made aware of the matter which "is currently under investigation" following reports on January 21.

The graffiti was spray painted on a wall in the harbour area of the town, saying, 'all border post staff are targets'.

One local councillor described it as "very disturbing" while DUP MLA Gordon Lyons said it "harks back to days when other public officials and members of the security forces were targeted".

Brexit Operational Readiness bosses sent out an internal memo assuring port staff that the PSNI and Stormont's Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs were investigating.

The memo urged port workers to report suspicious activity but stressed the Larne incident appeared to be an isolated one.

Mr Lyons said: “This must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. There is no place for this type of threatening language...

"Like many, I recognise the hugely detrimental impact that the Northern Ireland protocol will have on Northern Ireland, its businesses, on jobs and consumers. However, there is simply no excuse for responding in this way and targeting people because they are doing their job."

Alliance Councillor Danny Donnelly, also hit out at those responsible: "This is very disturbing. No matter your opinion on the Irish Sea border, threats to workers must be condemned by all.”

Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs said the threats would contribute to further delays for hauliers and called for "bureaucratic regulations" to be changed.

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