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12th-Nov-2014 05:43 pm - Derry City Council: Safety wardens face 'dissident threats'
12 Nov 2014

A number of Derry City Council staff have been withdrawn from duty following claims of threats from dissident republicans.

The council said the threats were made to 11 community safety wardens, who are employed to deal with low-level anti-social behaviour.

They said the threats were delivered on Tuesday and were being treated very seriously.

The police said it did not discuss the security of individuals.

DUP councillor Drew Thompson is chairman of the city's Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), which runs the warden scheme.

'Totally unfounded'

Speaking on BBC Radio Foyle on Wednesday, Mr Thompson said he had called for the threats to be lifted immediately.

"I would appeal and say to these people responsible to get off the backs of the people and withdraw this threat, because it is totally unfounded and there's no justification for it," he said.

Sinn Féin councillor Paul Fleming said the "vast majority" of people in the city wanted the wardens to continue working.

Derry City Council is expected to hold a special meeting on Wednesday to discuss the threats.
'Vitally important'

The council's chief executive, Sharon O'Connor, said the wardens played a "pivotal role in providing peace of mind to many" in Derry.

She said: "These allegations must be refuted and every effort made to have the threat immediately withdrawn.

"We want the support of the public in calling for an immediate removal of this threat, so these people can return to work to continue to provide this vitally important community work."
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