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DUP Policing Board member Mervyn Storey has said that acknowledgement from the Chief Constable of “a need to restore lost legitimacy, trust and confidence” within the wider unionist and loyalist community is a welcome first step.

The comments from the Chief Constable come from a report to today’s Policing Board which references “a need to reset the dial in policing relationships and established engagement and planning practices.” Temporary Assistant Chief Constable will lead on the development of a specific program of co-ordinated activity.

The North Antrim MLA said, “This is a welcome, if belated first step from the Chief Constable. DUP representatives have pointed out for some time that trust and confidence within the wider unionist and loyalist community had ebbed away, something that was hugely exacerbated by the Bobby Storey funeral. There is now at least finally an acceptance that this is the case and action is to be taken.

We have been in discussions with the police over recent weeks on this important issue and will continue that work to ensure that progress is made. It will not be possible to make progress in Northern Ireland if there is a significant section of the community who do not have confidence in policing.

It will be important to see further progress in this area, but the Chief Constable’s acknowledgement of the problem is a foundation which can be built upon.”