Answers required following incident at Steeple PSNI station: Clarke

DUP Policing Board member Trevor Clarke has said the PSNI must provide answers following the latest security breach at a PSNI station. The incident occurred on 11th June where a man carrying a knife entered the PSNI station at Steeple in Antrim, but was only revealed following media queries.

By Trevor Clarke MLA

South Antrim

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The South Antrim MLA said, “This incident is concerning in itself, but the fact that it follows a previous security breach in Newtownards is particularly troubling. There are a range of issues where I will be pressing for answers from the PSNI at the Policing Board.

It appears however that the Policing Board was only informed of the incident after queries from the media. Again, this isn’t the first time that information has taken a significant amount of time to reach the board and has taken media interest to prompt it.

The station in Steeple is a fairly ‘soft’ site and I want to know how it was assessed in the previous review that was carried out. The PSNI have stated that this latest incident sparked an internal review, but we do not know the results of the previous one. Steeple is also located just a few minutes from a fully operational station yet it took around 40 minutes before there was a response.

These issues also raise questions about the security provided at stations and whether it is fit for purpose. We need to know what knowledge there was of the incident as it was happening live, and was it monitored at that time. This is not just about the security of those within the police station at the time, but the safety of the wider public too as it involved a man brandishing a knife.

At a time the police officers are facing a heightened security threat they too deserve to know that there is adequate protection provided in the one place where their safety should be assured – within the confines of PSNI property.”

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