New police chief outlines priorities

Chief Inspector Anthony McNally. INLM2511-170gc
Chief Inspector Anthony McNally. INLM2511-170gc
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THIS week the ‘MAIL’ caught up with Lurgan’s new top police officer.

Area Commander Chief Inspector Anthony McNally has replaced Jason Murphy - who received a promotion.

During his short time at the helm, he has already witnessed his officers come under attack by dissident republicans.

However, Chief Inspector McNally vowed to not allow the dissident threat to obstruct his work.

He also said the “normalisation” of policing in Craigavon is one of his main priorities.

“My aims for the coming period lie within the policing plan,” said Mr McNally.

“Issues such as burglary, drugs and anti-social behaviour are at the top of the list.

“The new chief constable advocates personal protective policing, which is all about getting the basics right.

“Indeed, there are certain basic areas we as a force can improve on. I will strive to make ourselves more visible on the street and ensure that we are easily contacted.”

Mr McNally, originally from Larne, has been in the police service for nine years, working mostly as a detective.

He is married with four children.

The new Chief Inspector insisted that his officers will not be deterred by recent violence carried out by dissident republicans in the area.

“It’s fair to say we enjoy broad support across the vast majority of the community,” he said.

“Elemental to that is the normalisation of policing, and that’s something we are striving to do.

“It’s all about improving public confidence in the police.

“We will continue to build confidence and disrupt those who are trying to bring us back to the past.

“It’s just a minority carrying out these actions but, despite their small number, we will not underestimate the danger they represent.

“We want to provide a normal policing service across all of Craigavon, irrespective of the objectives of a tiny minority.”

Mr McNally also said the neighbourhood policing strategy has shown successful results.

He said: “There are plenty of community representatives who we have contact with, and that has proven to be very beneficial.

“This type of relationship with figureheads of the community is massively improving in terms of us getting our message across.

“It’s also a great opportunity to dispel the rumour mill about what the police may or may not be doing.”

He added: “Neighbourhood policing is a conscious effort by the PSNI to build links with local communities.

“We are being made aware of the recurring issues in particular areas and, through that, we are moving with the community to disrupt the dissident threat.”