South Armagh policing: PSNI Chief Constable gives fresh assurances on RUC memorials, joint Garda patrols and Irish language
Chief Constable Simon Byrne has issued a list of assurances on policing in South Armagh after meeting with DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson.
Publication of a report with recommendations on policing in south Armagh this week have caused huge political fallout for Mr Byrne, particularly with regards to plans to remove memorials to murdered RUC officers from public view in stations and to begin joint patrols with the Garda.
Mr Byrne said tonight that he had held “frank and constructive meetings” with the Northern Ireland Policing Board and a range of political representatives today.
“At a subsequent meeting this afternoon, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and a number of DUP representatives told me of deeply held community confidence concerns and their disillusionment arising from a series of policing issues in recent times,” Mr Byrne said in a statement.
“I accept the importance of ensuring that there is widespread confidence in policing across all parts of our community. I reaffirmed my commitment to listening to unionist community concerns and rebuilding confidence.”
He added that he has made it clear to the Northern Ireland Policing Board, in media interviews and in the meetings I have held today that:
:: “No memorials will be removed from, or moved within, our buildings”
:: “At no time was it envisaged that there would be joint patrolling by the Police Service of Northern Ireland and An Garda Síochána.”
He added that the issue of “hot pursuit” by police across the border after criminals will not be taken forward without the agreement of both governments.
“This recommendation will not, therefore, be progressed by the Police Service of Northern Ireland.”
He also said that “no action” will be taken with regard to increasing the use of the Irish language in the PSNI “unless it is in line with the approach being taken across the Northern Ireland public sector more widely”.
He added that further clarity will be provided in a time-scaled implementation plan to the Policing Board in the coming weeks.
A message from the Editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.
Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Ireland and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.
Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.