DUP tell police chief of concern at changes

Sydney Anderson MLA, PSNI Area District Commander David Moore and Cllr Jonathan Buckley are pictured after a recent meeting, during which they discussed a variety of current issues.
Sydney Anderson MLA, PSNI Area District Commander David Moore and Cllr Jonathan Buckley are pictured after a recent meeting, during which they discussed a variety of current issues.

THE DUP has met with a top police commander to voice ‘serious concerns’ following changes to neighbourhood policing teams.

Local DUP MLA Sydney Anderson and Cllr Jonathan Buckley met PSNI Area District Commander David Moore to discuss recent changes.

“In recent weeks we learnt that, on average, there will be one officer to serve approximately every 2,200 people,” said Sydney Anderson.

“We received a detailed presentation on the current changes, which was very informative. I will continue to monitor these new structures to ensure that the community receives an adequate level of policing.

“In recent months, figures have highlighted starkly the level of certain crimes which are occurring in the area, with 453 drug related incidents reported across the Portadown, Craigavon, Lurgan, Banbridge and Gilford areas between May 2014 and May 2015. There were also over 4,500 incidents of anti-social behaviour reported across the same area between April 2014 and April 2015.

Cllr Buckley said: “It was important for myself and Sydney to meet with the PSNI to raise pressing issues such as these current structural changes, as well as issues such as drug related crime and anti-social behaviour. We also got the opportunity to discuss the evil that is animal cruelty. Recently, we learnt about the disgraceful attack on Oscar the dog and we wanted to make the police aware that they must do all they can to assist the ABC Council in the fight against animal cruelty. We are committed to liaising with the PSNI in the future as we continue to tackle the various types of criminal activity taking place throughout the ABC area.”

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon PSNI District Commander, Superintendent Davy Moore said: “We welcome opportunities to meet with all political representatives and discuss ways that we can work better together, particularly given the reducing budgets we are required to work within.

“We were particularly keen to meet MLA Sydney Anderson and Cllr Jonathan Buckley to dispel some of the rumours and misinformation surrounding our recent restructure. We were able to explain exactly what changes had taken place and how the new structures are working well across Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon.

“We discussed crime figures and the role that everyone can play in tackling the array of issues that surround crimes such as criminal damage, antisocial behaviour and the illegal use and supply of drugs.

“We were also able to inform MLA Anderson and Cllr Buckley about the extensive work we undertake with our partner agencies on an ongoing basis to address animal cruelty,” said the police commander.