DPP appointees named to oversee police

FIVE teenagers will be among those appointed to oversee the work of the police.

Members appointed to District Policing Partnerships (DPPs) will for the first time have to sign a declaration against terrorism.

The youngest of 211 people appointed by the Policing Board to DPPs across the Province, established to hold the police to account at a local level, is aged 18.

DPPs across Ulster have been reconstituted following Sinn Fein’s support for policing – previously they refused to join the bodies.

Each of the DPPs is made up of independent members and local councillors chosen by councils on the basis of party strengths.

Among the names to be confirmed today is IRA bomber Sean Lynch, whose appointment to Fermanagh DPP was leaked last week. He was ambushed by the SAS in 1986 near Rosslea and injured while attempting a landmine attack on an Army patrol.

Another former republican prisoner to be appointed is Rosaleen McCorley from west Belfast.

Policing Board chairman Sir Desmond Rea said: “We are now in a new era for policing in Northern with support for policing from right across the political spectrum.

“The wide range of applicants for these positions, from all sections of our community, reflects the desire to achieve a policing service which is fully responsive to the community it serves.”

The five teenagers appointed are Dungiven student Maria O’Kane, 18, Kilkeel student Michelle Burns, 19, Ballyclare student Kirsty Bell, 19, Queen’s DUP chairman Thomas Hogg, 19, and Neil Baird, 18, from Whitehead.

Appointees include the Rev Norman Hamilton from Ballysillan Presbyterian Church and Geraldine McAteer from Belfast, who sits on the parades review body. Former Queen’s Student Union president Ben Preston, 24, is appointed to South Belfast DPP.