Keep up with Armagh i

Concerns over future of neighbourhood policing teams

Concerns have been raised locally at the practice which sees neighbourhood police officers removed from the community to plug gaps elsewhere.

According to a report by the Criminal Justice Inspection (CJI) some officers are spending just one or two days a month in their dedicated roles.

And this having a knock-on affect on trust, says Cusher councillor, Alderman Gareth Wilson.

The DUP representative said Neighbourhood Policing Teams should be protected and maintained rather than reduced and redeployed to other duties.

Alderman Wilson is also a member of the Policing Community Safety Partnership and has spoken with Neighbourhood police officers who were being directed to other duties and away from their normal roles, something he said caused a break in the continuity of the policing service.

Alderman Wilson said: “I rate and value Neighbourhood Policing very highly and I have seen first hand just how important and successful this format of policing can be out in the community.

“With a solid network of locally accessible, friendly and trustworthy police officers, in close liaison with community representatives, local political representatives and being visible to the general public – this creates a good model of policing which builds trust and delivers results. Why then would anyone from a management perspective in the PSNI want this policing model disrupted? It makes no sense.

“I have spoken to officers within neighbourhood policing who are concerned about how they are moved around different duties, away from their vital and core role in community policing and this certainly frustrates those officers greatly. It seems there are many reasons for this, however none of the reasons are a basis for disrupting the flow of good quality neighbourhood policing.”

He added: “I note even the Assistant Chief Constable Bobby Singleton has expressed this same view and for someone so senior to voice concerns, there clearly is a major strategic deficit in the direction of travel for crime fighting when neighbourhood units are being run down instead of enhanced from a resource perspective.

“I will again be raising my concerns at the next PCSP meeting on this important issue and i thank our local neighbourhood policing teams for all their efforts to date. Their assistance is vital and highly valued and their roles should be protected.”

Sign Up To Our Newsletter

Most read today

More in Armagh