Sinn Féin - On Your Side

PSNI presentation underlines the case for removal of Mountpottinger barracks

17 February, 2009

East Belfast Sinn Féin representative Niall Ó Donnghaile, speaking after last night's East Belfast DPP meeting which focused on the future of Mountpottinger PSNI barracks, has said that tonight's presentation by the PSNI underlines the case for the removal of this barracks. Mr Ó Donnghaile has called upon the PSNI to now move swiftly and recommend the removal of this barracks to the Policing Board.

Mr Ó Donnghaile said,

"Sinn Féin and the local community have long campaigned for the removal of Mountpottinger barracks. Tonight's presentation by the PSNI at the East Belfast DPP meeting only served to underline the case for the removal of this barracks.

"The figures presented by the PSNI speak for themselves. The barracks only functions on a part-time basis. It costs around £180,000 annually to retain this barracks, and in the year between July 2007 and July 2008 it was used by only 16 members of the public. The majority of these 16 people were visiting the barracks for non-serious issues such as having to produce their driver's license of to inquire about lost property. This barracks is clearly a drain on the resources of the PSNI, resources which could be better used in tackling crime in the East Belfast area.

"It was also revealed by the PSNI that during its public consultation period they received 4 submissions calling for the retention of the barracks while 907 submissions were made calling for the removal of the barracks".

Mr Ó Donnghaile concluded,

"The PSNI's own figures speak for themselves; it's time for Mountpottinger barracks to go. The large response during the public consultation calling for the removal of the barracks sends a clear message that the local community want this eyesore removed. I would urge the PSNI to move swiftly to recommend to the Policing Board the removal of this barracks, a move which will herald a new beginning to policing in this community". CRÍOCH

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