Green Party to work closely with new policing teams in North Down

The Green Party today, Tuesday, 25 August 2015, welcomed the establishment of the new Local Policing Team and Neighbourhood Policing Team Model, which will take effect in the Ards and North Down area from 21 September.

Green Party councillor for Holywood and Clandeboye, John Barry said

“While some people are aware of the major policing changes underway, many citizens are not.

“The Police Service of Northern Ireland is in the midst of its most significant change and restructuring since the Patten reforms. The main reasons given by the PSNI is the need to restructure to align with new Council structures, but there are also significant budget pressures and a reduction in officers and staff.

“Despite this, the PSNI is confident it can deliver not just the same level of service but an enhanced one through new structures and work practices.

“New Local Policing Teams will have responsibility for a geographical area within their District, a District Electoral Area (DEA). For example, this means the DEA I represent, Holywood and Clandeboye, will have its own team, ensuring the area has officers on duty at all times.

“While it is the case that the local knowledge built up by neighbourhood police officers will have to be re-created by the new teams, I am confident that with the help and support of local politicians, community groups and other organisations in our communities, this local knowledge can be quickly acquired.

“I will be meeting with the new officers as soon as they are in place.”

The PSNI has stated that where a Neighbourhood Policing Team exists they will provide an additional tier to the Local Policing Team officer ownership but not replace it.

Councillor John Barry added,

“While there may be teething problems, given the scale of the organisational change underway, the Green Party will work closely with the new policing teams, as well as local citizens and community representatives and groups to reassure them that ‘business as usual’ in terms of 24/7/365 policing.

“The PSNI cannot do its job, not least in a time of change, without working in partnership with the community, the council and local politicians and community organisations.

“The important message is that the top priority for the PSNI is to keep our communities safe.

“The Green Party is committed to realising this objective, through supporting and working with the PSNI.”

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