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Sinn Féin meeting with PSNI in Armagh ‘constructive’

1 December, 2008 - by Cathal Boylan


Sinn Féin Newry Armagh MP Conor Murphy and Cathal Boylan MLA have met with Assistant Chief Constable Judith Gillespie and Chief Inspector Mawhinney, local police commander in Armagh City and District. The meeting was at Sinn Féin's request to address growing concern in Armagh City and District about the quality of police service available to the people of the area.

Speaking after the meeting Conor Murphy said:

"I am determined that the people of Armagh and the surrounding district have a police service that not only meets their needs but is delivered in a fair and efficient manner. Unfortunately, Sinn Féin in Armagh and across the district has been receiving complaints in the past months about the manner in which the PSNI has been operating.

"Sinn Féin sought this meeting in order to raise the concerns of local people with those in the PSNI who have both the strategic and operational control of policing in the area. I am encouraged by the PSNI's response to the issues raised. These included the poor attitude being displayed by some officers to members of the public, over-reactions on the part of other police officers and many issues around police response times.

"ACC Gillespie and Chief Inspector Mawhinney were made fully aware of the community's concerns. The two officers outlined some steps they have planned to address these issues and appeared willing to consider additional steps to address the communities concerns. They have also agreed to a series of further engagements at a local level which will allow progress to be monitored and further changes enacted should that prove necessary. We in Sinn Féin view this as a positive development feel that this is a further stepping stone to delivering a fully accountable police service.

Mr. Murphy's colleague Cathal Boylan MLA added:

"Policing is a fundamental building block in the continued development of our communities. The nature of policing has changed and this is to be welcomed. However we intend to continue to push for improvements across the board. I am pleased with the constructive and frank nature of our meeting today and I believe that the two officers concerned are determined to see an improved policing service available to all the people of Armagh City And the surrounding district." ENDS

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