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Sinn Féin hold first 'productive' meeting PSNI Domestic Violence Unit

6 September, 2007

Sinn Féin MLAs Jennifer McCann and Martina Anderson have held a productive meeting with the PSNI Domestic Violence, Child Abuse and Rape Enquiry Unit, to highlight the issue of domestic and sexual violence.

Sinn Féin Women's Spokesperson, West Belfast MLA Jennifer McCann speaking after the meeting said,

"There was a frank and productive exchange on the issue of domestic violence. This is a priority issue for myself as Womens spokesperson and for my colleagus Martina Anderson as Human Rights spokesperson."

The Sinn Féin delegation conveyed to the PSNI that far reaching improvements right across the policing and judicial structures in dealing with domestic violence cases and particularly in conviction rates and sentencing are needed.

"We also made it clear that in many many cases people feel that they are let down by the judicial service.

"Not only are the conviction rates very low in domestic violence cases but at times there is almost a sense of betrayal because of the short sentences handed down to perpetrators of domestic violence.

"Sinn Féin shall be tackling this issue on an All Ireland basis and last week my colleagues in the 26 counties Sinn Féin proposed that domestic and sexual violence should be named priorities, with actions and performance indicators, in the Garda Policing Plan 2008.

"The PSNI were also told that they must deliver results, and it is our job to ensure that they are doing everything in their power to address this issue of paramount importance." Críoch

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