Saturday, November 14, 2009

Proposed Cuts to the PSNI

Speaking on the proposed £17 million cuts from the PSNI,and as Chair of North Down District Policing Partnership, I am quite clearly stating that, following a meeting with the Security Minister, the Acting Chief Constable and the Chairman of the Northern Ireland Policing Board we have media reports revealing that the PSNI annual budget may be cut by £17 million. We have been assured that improving front line visibility and the effectiveness and efficiency of the service is a priority, however North Down DPP are concerned as to the proposed cuts.

Since North Down DPP was formed in 2003 we have received ongoing requests for an increased police presence and increased patrolling across North Down. It is with caution that the DPP view this announcement. Whilst the DPP welcomes the focus on front line policing which we believe is essential to reduce the fear of crime and provide reassurance to the community, there is concern that the savings will be taken from other essential areas. Again for over 6 years the DPP has received reports from the residents of North Down that communication with the victims of crime and community safety are essential to provide information and assistance. Similarly crime investigation and the need to remove criminals from our streets is a priority. The DPP await further information on the proposed cuts but would urge all those in the Policing Board, PSNI and Northern Ireland Office to place the safety and reassurance of the people of North Down above financial savings.