Call for Mill security to be scaled back

Mossley Mill. NT43-013FP
Mossley Mill. NT43-013FP

NEWTOWNABBEY councillor Robert Hill has called for security at Mossley Mill to be scaled back after rumoured flag protests at the council’s headquarters failed to materialise on a number of occasions.

Ahead of Monday night’s full council meeting, extra security staff had been drafted in as well as police officers in response to rumours of a loyalist flag protest to be held at the Mossley building.

Extra security has been put in place on a number of occasions in the past eight weeks since disorder broke out at a flag protest in December which trapped around 600 people inside the Mill complex.

There have been persistent rumours of further protests at the site, however none has materialised.

On Monday night, as well as extra security staff manning the entrance to Mossley Mill, there were four police vehicles monitoring the area.

Councillor Robert Hill said: “Is it not about time we looked at scaling back the security here [Mossley Mill]?

“This must be costing the council and the police a fortune to have so much extra security on.”

The University Ward representative also asked for a report to be prepared on how much the extra security is costing the council.

Council Chief Executive Jacqui Dixon said extra security was only in place on certain nights.

She added: “We receive the same reports as police and in their opinion there was to be a protest here tonight.

“We do not have the same level of security all the time, just if there will be a chance of a protest.”

Earlier this month, the council told the Times that it costs £178 per night to employ the extra security staff.