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Work needed to continue developing community relations with police in south Armagh, says Alliance

Alliance representatives have said work needs to continue on developing relations between the police and community in South Armagh.

Policing Board member John Blair MLA and Newry and Armagh representative Jackie Coade were speaking following a meeting with Simon Byrne on Tuesday.

The Chief Constable has apologised for a tweet showing him posing with heavily armed police officers in Crossmaglen, saying it was not meant as a comment on the community of Crossmaglen and South Armagh.

“We welcomed the opportunity to meet with the Chief Constable, as we wished to discuss how to build better relations between the PSNI and the local community, particularly in South Armagh,” said Ms Coade.

“Part of that was an acknowledgement from Mr Byrne his tweet was misjudged and he has now apologised for that. I and others appreciate that by the Chief Constable.

“It is clear work needs to continue on developing relations between the local community and the PSNI. Only by doing that will the PSNI become a police service with the backing of everyone and able to deliver for everyone in the community.”

“It was a constructive meeting with the Chief Constable in which everyone was able to acknowledge the need to work to improve relations between police and the community in South Armagh,” added Mr Blair.

“As a Policing Board member and fully supportive of the role police play in our society, I want to see the good work being done by the PSNI and Police and Community Safety Partnerships locally being built on, so the PSNI is welcome in all areas.”

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