We are not there to prop up poor policing - Sinn Féin Chair of Newry and Mourne DPP
Newry and Mourne Sinn Féin Councillor Brendan Curran who was last night appointed as Chairperson of the local District Policing Partnership (DPP) has said that whilst the experience for many of policing in this area had been one of heavy handedness, political, sectarian and partisan, Sinn Fein was serious about their commitment to achieving an accountable and acceptable policing service.
Cllr Curran said:
"Policing with the community needs to be the core function of any civic policing service and we want to ensure that will happen. Sinn Fein local elected representatives sitting on the DPPs is another step along that road."
"Sinn Féin want to see the local community and criminal justice agencies, especially the PSNI, working together to ensure that people can live in peace and safety, free from intimidation, threat or violence" said the Newry City Councillor who continued;
"Many communities feel that PSNI neither have the commitment nor the willingness to deal with anti social violence and criminality in their areas. Many see the PSNI as being indifferent to their plight. There is a feeling of abandonment.
"The District Policing Partnerships is charged with holding the PSNI to account and to ensuring a full and effective delivery of service to the community. Sinn Féin's presence there will be the guarantee that this happens.
"The Sinn Féin members on the Newry and Mourne Policing Partnerships will provide the voice for communities who have in the past experienced only bad policing. We want to play a constructive role on those Partnerships but we will not shy away from challenging, or criticising, or questioning policing decisions and policy when the need arises.
"Sinn Féin is working to open new space for the local community and criminal justice agencies, especially the PSNI, to work together and fulfil their obligations to uphold the rights of those who want to live in safety and peace. Our communities want the PSNI to do its job, to thoroughly investigate complaints of criminality and anti-social behaviour and arrest those responsible and take them off the streets."
Brendan who is joined by colleagues Councillors Turlough Murphy, Michael Ruane and Colman Burns added:
"Sinn Féin will not be sitting on the DPPs to prop up ineffective policing. That, in the view of many, is these Partnerships have done in the past. Those days are over, we are determined that Policing with the community will be the core function of the Policing Service.
"For their part the PSNI must indicate a willingness to embrace this opportunity to deliver policing which is democratic, accountable, representative and free from political control.
"Sinn Féin will use their membership of the Partnerships to critically engage with the PSNI in a professional, efficient and constructive manner. We are taking up positions on these Partnerships is clearly significant. There are big challenges for us as we seek to deliver the mandate we have been given. But as with our approach to any issue we will be resolute and we will be determined.
"The prize of truly accountable and representative policing service which serves the entire community is we believe achievable and our contributions on the local District Policing Partnerships will be key to achieving this role." ENDS