02 August 2019
DUP MEP Diane has met with Chief Constable Simon Byrne to discuss the PSNI’s Brexit readiness planning and other pressures facing policing in Northern Ireland.
Member of the EU Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, Substitute member of the EU Fisheries Committee
She was joined by the DUP Policing Board Members Mervyn Storey MLA, Gary Middleton MLA and Keith Buchanan MLA.
Commenting, Diane Dodds said:
‘‘This was a useful opportunity to evaluate efforts taken by the PSNI to date to ensure local police officers and support staff are best equipped to respond policing and crime demand under every Brexit scenario.
I was pleased to learn that discussions between the PSNI and their counterparts in the Irish Republic are at an advanced stage. This is particularly pertinent to ensuring the ongoing exchange of information critical to deterring, prosecuting and extraditing criminals post-Brexit.
I assured the Chief Constable that the DUP continues to support a sensible deal between the EU and UK which covers close and strong cross-border collaboration in terms of security as well as trade.’’
Mervyn Storey MLA added:
‘‘As a result of one-year funding secured from the Treasury the PSNI will recruit an additional 308 officers and staff by April 2020 as well as lead upgrade to its vehicle fleet.
Although we welcome this investment it is clear that future bids to the Department of Justice and Treasury may be needed and we continue to support the Chief Constable in his efforts to ensure the PSNI has all appropriate and necessary resources to fulfil their duties to the public.''
Gary Middleton MLA continued:
‘‘After discussion with the Chief Constable and his senior command team it is clear that there are many aspects of the criminal justice system and operational policing context that could be enhanced by a fully restored devolved Executive and Assembly.
The current backlog of decisions on vital front line services, not only in policing but in relation to schools, hospitals and roads, is completely unacceptable. Whilst we have no red lines or preconditions Sinn Fein maintain a focus on a narrow political shopping list. This position must change and change now.’’
Keith Buchanan MLA concluded:
‘‘We share the Chief Constable’s frustration in relation to the absence of a multi-year funding mechanism for the PSNI which would be invaluable in allowing his team to plan sustainably to meet future crime demand across Northern Ireland. The current model is preventing better outcomes for local communities. It is vital that this issue is addressed moving forward.’’