Loyalist dispute cost £1.6m

Stewart Dickson MLA
Stewart Dickson MLA

Nine arrests have been made in Carrick’s Castlemara estate during the past seven months in connection with an ongoing loyalist dispute which has cost £1.6 million to police.

Assistant Chief Constable Stephen Martin said that the dispute involved the South East Antrim UDA and a local family.

Guns and cocaine were discovered during searches and charges have been brought for possession of weapons, intimidation and drugs.

The officer admitted that police were extremely concerned about the situation in the Castlemara estate.

He stated that a PSNI presence is required in the estate on a daily basis and added that this is draining funds and diverting resources from other priorities.

East Antrim Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson described the policing cost as a “public scandal”.

He said: “It is a disgrace that money is not being deployed in a more appropriate way such as community policing.”