UUP demand return of the PSNI’s Rural Crime Unit

Robin Swann
Robin Swann

A UUP MLA has called for the re-instatement of the PSNI’s Rural Crime Unit, after it emerged that it no longer exists.

The unit had been set up in 2013, and had been unveiled by the then-justice minister, David Ford.

During a public question-and-answer session on Wednesday night using web service Twitter, chief constable George Hamilton was asked about the make-up of the unit by UUP North Antrim MLA Robin Swann.

The PSNI chief responded that “there is no rural crime unit”.

On Thursday, Assemblyman Swann said: “I am gravely alarmed at disbandment of PSNI’s Rural Crime Unit and I have asked for a meeting with the Justice Minister as a matter of urgency.

“It is totally unbelievable that this dedicated unit has been disbanded in the dark of night, while attacks on our elderly rural population are on the increase.”

He insisted the unit “must be reinstated as a priority”.