Trevor Clarke – “serious questions for PSNI Senior Command”

The DUP’s lead member on the Policing Board Trevor Clarke has spoken in advance of Thursday’s meeting to outline how the South Armagh Policing Review has raised more questions than it has answered.

By Trevor Clarke MLA

South Antrim

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Mr Clarke said,

“The Report into South Armagh forms the basis of the most overreaching set of policing reforms in recent years and should cause the Policing Board to ask serious questions from the Senior Command.

I will be outlining to fellow Policing Board members why we are opposed to any proposals which seek to denigrate the memory of those officers who were murdered in the line of duty. The Review’s conclusion that the presence of a memorial has a “negative impact on the mind-set of police officers who work there” is as offensive as it is inaccurate. Officers that I speak with draw inspiration from the selfless sacrifice of their late colleagues.

We will also be outlining to the Board and the Senior Command why we will oppose any attempt to create structures to allow PSNI officers police the Republic of Ireland or the Garda to police Northern Ireland. This is a massive overreach by the Senior Command which not just steps into local politics but also national constitutional politics.

Sensible processes already exist to allow the PSNI work with foreign police forces in the interests of solving crime. Our relationships with the Garda are particularly practical. We work together as neighbouring forces. That’s sensible. But there is no support for the creation of some joint policing structure whereby our officers would be accountable to politicians in the Republic.

Such all-Ireland structures have no support within the unionist community and should not have been brought forward in this manner. They would require legislative change which my party would veto in any case.

We want to see good policing in every part of Northern Ireland including South Armagh. I want to see more police on the streets and better station facilities for the public and officers. We will work with Board colleagues towards this outcome but we will not support political steps designed to pander to republicans rather and improve policing.”

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